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OITED ?.Y : MO^liwJi Wtt~UJ.l?. 

Catal Huyuk 

A Neolithic Town in Anatolia 


(Jatal Huyiik 

A Neolithic To--:; in 


§ 9-95 

Most established notions about neolithic life 
were shattered by the discovery of Catal Huyiik, 
which was a town of quite substantial size in 
7000 B.C. Situated on a fertile plain in southern 
Turkey, Catal Hiiyiik antedates the famous cities 
of Mesopotarniaby 3,000 years. Oneof man's first 
known essays into urban life, it is much more 
than just another archaeological excavation. An 
outstanding accomplishment in social develop- 
ment, Catal Huyiik occupies a midway position 
in the emergence of civilized man. 

This book reveals why, beyond its spectacular 
contributions to our knowledge of prehistoric 
urban settlement, Catal Huyiik is worth exami- 
ning for its own sake. Closely packed buildings 
without doorways indicate the inhabitants 
entered and left by ladder; the many remarkably 
furnished shrines and macabre artistry reflect an 
involved and wildly imaginative religion. Traces 
of a flourishing economy testify to advanced 
practices in agriculture and stockbreeding, and 
remains of non-native goods indicate a sophisti- 
cated trade in raw materials. Catal Hiiyuk was a 
unique community and remains a notable 
example of the single-mindedness and diversity 
of civilization. 

James Mellaart, the well-known archaeolo- 
gist, is Lecturer in Anatolian Archaeology at 
the Institute of Archaeology in the University 
of London. He is the author of many books, 
among them Earliest Civilisations of the Near 
East, and is the excavator of Hacilar as well as 
(Jatal Hiiyiik. 

with 1 j color plates 

121 black-and-white plates 

and j 6 line drawing 1 ; 

Catal Hiiyiik 

A Neolithic Town in Anatolia 

limes Mellaart 

13 Color Plates 
: 1 : Monochrome Plates 
'me drawings 


© ig6j Thames and Hudson Ltd. All Rights Reserved 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 67-14150 

Color and Monochrome Illustrations Printed in Switzerland 

Text Printed in Great Britain 

Bound in Holland 








Survivals of Earlier Forms of Architecture 


Religious Imagery 
Shrines of Level VII 
Shrines of Levels VIB and VIA 











General Editor's Preface 

The pursuit of knowledge, like other human activities, is liable 
to proceed in phases, which may sometimes be described loosely 
and even cynically as fashions. Archaeology, the objective study of 
that human and therefore somewhat temperamental subject, Man- 
kind, is not tree from this foible. These 'fashions', however, are not 
merely a matter of whimsy; basically, they are often responses to 
advancing techniques and mark the intermittent and sometimes 
abruptly rising escalation of understanding. The present book, 
viewed in perspective, represents one of these upward steps. 

Away back in the 1870's, Schliemann dramatically elevated the 
world remembered by Homer into a subject capable of material 
study. Troy, Mycenae, Agamemnon began to live not only in 
Homeric verse but in tcrm.3 of battlements and burials which, in 
death and decay, gave a new life to epic tradition. This was 
the romantic era of archaeology. The detailed correctness of 
the new picture is not here in question; the broad likeness 
having been achieved, lesser men have filled in the hands and 
feet — it is their job. Later, Sir Arthur Evans in Crete began to 
paint in the prehistoric background of Homer and, with 
gradually advancing skill, depicted an imaginative dawn of 
Mediterranean and European civilization. The wider functions 
and capacities of archaeology were becoming plain for all 
to see. 

But, unregarded by Evans, in the year (1900) in which the excava- 
tion of his Minoan Crete began, there died in Dorset a certain 
General Pitt Rivers who for twenty years, amidst the scrubby 
vestiges of prehistoric and peripheral Britain, had been quietly and 
industriously elaborating archaeological techniques. These, another 
twenty years after his death, were to begin the scientific revolution 

f atal Huytik 

of his craft and were to lead, whether consciously or subconsciously, 
to the two decades of technical advance which marked the inter- 
war period. Between 1920 and 1940 there was a sudden blossoming 
of understanding. This included but was not confined to a new 
appreciation of 'stratification', a phenomenon already recognized a 
century earlier by geologists. It comprised also a general realization 
of the importance of environment in human progress; the recon- 
struction of the natural surroundings which, in great variety, had 
challenged Man and stimulated his advancement. The re-creation, 
for example, of vegetation and climate in various places and periods 
and on various soils was developed by the analysis of ancient 
deposits of pollen. Soil-maps and vegetation-maps began to give an 
enlarged meaning to human distributions, static or mobile. 

And then, after the Second World War, there was another leap 
forward. New scientific aids of one kind and another came to the 
help of the archaeologist and threatened to turn archaeology itself 
into a science. At least they prepared, in anticipation, to turn the 
postulate of 'Two Cultures' — the sciences on the one hand as apart 
from the humanities on the other — into nonsense ten years before 
it was proclaimed at Cambridge in the Rede Lecture of 1959. Above 
all, in 1949 Libby's announcement of the radiocarbon (C-14) method 
of dating organic materials had given archaeology a powerful new 
scientific instrument for establishing a rough-and-ready chronology 
back to something like 50,000 years before the advent of writing, 
and so opened up a whole series of new horizons in the human 

This ingenious by-product of nuclear research was promptly 
turned to good if sometimes unskilled use. It was now possible to 
interrelate cultures and civilizations intelligently with one another 
and with the present; ages unknown to history or to viable legend, 
and inadequately related by stratigraphy alone, took on a new mean- 
ing. Archaeology had indeed entered upon a fresh and revealing 
phase for which 'fashion' is a wholly inadequate term; to define it 
narrowly, the C-14 phase. 

And the backward reach of the C-14 technique is happily sufficient 
to cover the most vital over-all period of human endeavour; that in 


General Editors Preface 

which Man at last learned, in addition to gathering food, to produce 
it; thus almost indefinitely enlarging the potential size of the social 
unit and providing the essential basis of civilization, the ability to 
live in towns and cities. 

In so far as the Eurasian zone is concerned, the focus of this 
greatest of all human achievements proclaims its own geographical 
terms. The wild prototypes of the principal Eurasian herd-animals 
(goats, sheep, cattle) and edible grasses (wheat, barley) occur or have 
occurred roughly between the Himalayas and the Mediterranean. 
Within that area, therefore, it may be supposed that the earlier 
attempts at domestication and cultivation took shape: always with 
the proviso that in other parts of the world — in the Western if not 
in the Eastern Hemisphere — equivalent advances may, at one time 
or another, have been independently achieved. And within that 
considerable Near Eastern and Middle Eastern region with which we 
are here concerned it is apparent that the earlier advances were 
liable to be located in the foothills ; those, for example, of northern 
Iraq, Palestine, and southern Anatolia. This is altogether natural, since 
the circumscribed shelter of the semi-upland valley matched the size 
and capacity of the small societies which were still inevitably in the 
earlier stages of food-production. Only the confident development 
of food-producing techniques could be expected to result in a social 
expansion commensurate with the formidable problems presented 
by the great riverine plains. 

And here (Jatal Hiiyuk comes vividly into the picture. It lies upon 
an accessible and fertile landscape at a height of 3 ,000 feet above 
sea-level, and consists of two riverside mounds, the larger of which 
is 32 acres in extent. Thus by the seventh millennium, the age to 
which the earlier excavated strata are shown by C-14 evidence to 
belong, the settlement was of very substantial size, fully worthy of 
the urban designation which Mr Mellaart has given to it. As a fully- 
fledged town at that early date — three or four rnillennia before the 
famous cities of Mesopotamia — it is of more than professional 
interest. After its primary precursor, the eighth-millenniuni walled 
oasis-town of Jericho in Jordan, it occupies a sort of midway position 
in the emergence of Civilized Man. As such, it may fairly be regarded 



Qatal Huyuk 

as something more than just another archaeological excavation; it 
represents an outstanding human accomplishment in the upward 
grade of social development, and may be expected therefore to be 
of general interest even to a modern age which may have lost 
something of the easy Victorian certainty of Progress. 

The present moment is opportune for the publication of the 
results of the three seasons of excavation to which the site has been 
submitted. The first stage of the work may now be claimed to have 
ended, and some delay is inevitable before digging is continued. 
Meanwhile a reasonably complete presentation of the remarkable 
and sometimes bizarre results of the excavation to date is desirable 
in a form more congenial to the reader than the technical reports in 
Anatolian Studies can be expected to be. And there is ample material 
for this more general approach. Apart from the important contribu- 
tion which (patal Huyuk has made in the wider context of human 
studies, the idiosyncracies of its inhabitants give it a personality of 
some special local and individual interest. The strange character of 
its closely packed buildings, into which in the absence of doorways 
the visitor presumably ascended or descended by ladder; the 
numerous shrines with their remarkable furnishings; and above all 
the curious and sometimes a trifle macabre artistry which doubtless 
reflects a religious thinking as involved and inscrutable as illiterate 
(if not literate) religions are bound to be — all these and other per- 
sonalia combine to illustrate a community of an entertainingly 
esoteric kind. In one way and another Mr Mellaart's work is here 
offered as a notable contribution alike to the smgle-mindedness and 
the diversity of civilization in remote perspective. 

Mortimer Wheeler 

I : 

Foreword and Acknowledgements 

The excavations conducted by the author at (Jatal Hiiyiik 
from 1961 to 1963 with the generous support of a number of 
learned bodies in Britain, the Commonwealth and America have 
revealed a new and unexpected chapter in the history of Anatolia. 

£atal Hiiyuk has proved to be not only a major neolithic site, 
yielding rich evidence of a remarkably advanced civilization that 
flourished on the Anatolian Plateau in the seventh and early sixth 
millennium bc, but it was also the centre of art in a period that 
hitherto had been regarded as inartistic, (patal Hiiyuk is remarkable 
for its wall-paintings and plaster reliefs, its sculpture in stone and 
clay as well as for its advanced technology in the crafts of weaving, 
woodwork, metallurgy and obsidian working. Its numerous 
sanctuaries testify to an advanced religion, complete with symbolism 
and mythology; its buildings to the birth of architecture and 
conscious planning; its economy to advanced practices in agri- 
culture and stockbreeding, and its numerous imports to a flourishing 
trade in raw materials. 

This book is an account of the first three seasons of work at this 
promising site and a summary of what has been learnt about it 
through the patient recording by a large team of archaeologists 
assisted by natural scientists. 

The excavations were made possible through the generous support 
of the following institutions and benefactors: 

The British Academy, 

The University of London, Institute of Archaeology, 

The University of Edinburgh, 

The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada, 

The Australian Institute of Archaeology, 


Qatal Huyiik 

Christchurch University, New Zealand, 

The British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, 

The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 

New York, 
The Bollingen Foundation, New York, 
The Ny Carlsberg Foundation, Copenhagen, 
The late Francis Neilson, Esq. 
W. J. Beasley, Esq. 
The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, 
W. E. D. Allen, Esq. 
and a number of anonymous donations. 

Technical aid to the expedition was provided by the German 
Archaeological Institute, Istanbul; Shell, Ankara; BP (Aegean Ltd.) 
Istanbul; and the Conservation Department of the Institute of 
Archaeology, University of London. 

The expedition has profited much from collaboration with natural 
scientists: Dr Hans Helbaek (National Museum, Copenhagen), 
palaeo-botanist; Dr Dexter Perkins, Jr, zoologist; Mile Denise 
Ferembach (Institut de Paleontologie Humaine, Paris), physical 
anthropologist; Dr H. Burnham (Royal Ontario Museum), textile 
expert; Professor R. Pittioni and his team of metallurgists at Vienna; 
Mr H. Hodges (Institute of Archaeology, London), conservation and 
Professor A. Berkel (Forestry Dept, University of Istanbul) and 
E. Tellerup, Esq., (Copenhagen) for wood analysis. Other analyses 
have been carried out by Dr S. J. Rees-Jones of the Courtauld 
Institute, London (pigments) ; Dr G. F. Claringbull (Department of 
Mineralogy, British Museum, Natural History), Dr I. C. J. Gal- 
braith (Department of Ornithology, British Museum, Natural 
History) ; the Rev. H. E. J. Biggs (Department of Malacology, 
British Museum, Natural History) ; the Radiocarbon Laboratories of 
the University of Pennsylvania (Dr E. K. Ralph), and the Centre 
National de Recherches Scientifiques at Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris. 
Analyses of obsidian were made by Mr Colin Renfrew (Cambridge). 
The flint and obsidian industry was studied by Mr Perry Bialor 
and Mr Peder Mortensen. 


Foreword and Acknowledgements 
During the excavations Mrs M. A. Mellaart and Mr Ian Todd 
re the photographers; Mr Peter Winchester, Mr N. Alcock and 
Miss P. Quinn the architect-surveyors; Miss Anne Louise Stock- 
dale and Mrs Grace Huxtable the artists; and conservation was 
entrusted to Dr Hans Helbaek, Miss Fiona Greig, Mrs D. Biernoff 
and Miss Viola Pemberton-Piggott. During the summer and autumn 
of 1964 Mr H. Hodges, Miss M. White, Miss T. Martin, Miss P. 
Pratt and Miss V. Pemberton-Piggott worked on the conservation 
of wall-paintings from £atal Huyuk in the Archaeological Museum, 

Archaeological field assistants at £atal Hiiyuk included: Miss 
Diana Kirkbride (now Mrs Hans Helbaek), Mr Ian Todd, Mr D. 
noff, Mr John Farrar, Mr Mark Davie, Miss Birsen Guloglu, 
Mr Refik Duru and Mr J. Yakar. Mr Ali Riza Buyiiklevent, Mr 
Behcet Erdal and Mr Hayrettin Solmaz acted as representatives of 
die Turkish Government. 

It is a pleasant duty to express my gratitude to all these institutions, 
benefactors, scientists, scholars and assistants, who have thus con- 
tributed to the success of the Qatal Hiiyuk expedition and without 

hose support this book would not have been written. 

We are not less indebted to the Turkish Department of Anti- 
quities and Bay Rustem Duyuran, then its Director and to Bay 
Mehmet Onder, the present Director, then Director of the Konya 
Museums; to Bay Rebii Karatekin, Vali of Konya and Bay Adnan 
Kizildagh, Kaymakam of £umra and numerous other local 
Turkish authorities, for their help and assistance, hospitality and 

And finally, we thank our labour force, veterans of Beycesultan 
and Hacdar, or newcomers from Kiicukkoy, our foreman Veli 
Karaaslan and our ustas Rifat Qelimli, Mustafa Duman and Bekir 
Kalayci, for their skill, experience and devotion. 

Preliminary reports on the Qatal Hiiyiik excavations have been 
published annually in Anatolian Studies (vols XII, 1962; XIII, 1963; 
XIV, 1964) as well as in the following journals : Illustrated London 
News, New Scientist, Archaeology, Horizon, Scientific American, Science 
et Avenir, and Archaeologische Anzeiger. An exhibition of copies of 



Qatal Hiiyiik 

(Jatal Hiiyiik wall-paintings was held at the Institute of Archaeology 
at London; in the Jewish Museum, New York, and at the Royal 
Ontario Museum, and some of our finds have toured Western 
Europe with the exhibition of treasures from the Ankara Museum, 
where all our finds are kept. 

Academic response to the Qatal Hiiyiik discoveries has been great 
and public lectures were given at Istanbul, Athens, Nicosia, Beirut, 
Amman, Jerusalem, Athens, Vienna, Berlin, Frankfurt, Marburg, 
Ziirich, Geneva, Paris, Lyons, London, Oxford, Cambridge, 
Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol, Edinburgh, St Andrews, 
Toronto, New York and Bryn Mawr. The need for a book on 
Qatal Hiiyiik is therefore fairly obvious. 




Outside the ring of professional archaeology, Qatal Hiiyiik 
is still a name of little meaning. But the recent excavation of 
the site — still far from complete — has in fact given it an importance 
of an outstanding kind which it is the purpose of this book, during a 
pause in the field-operations, to indicate in a general way to a wider 
public. Already, after a mere three seasons' work (1961-63), the 
results may fairly be described as a spectacular addition to our know- 
ledge of the earlier phrases of the human achievement in terms of 
erban settlement. For already Qatal Hiiyuk ranks, with Jericho in 
Jordan, as one of man's first known essays in the development of 
town-life. Before 6000 bc £atal Hiiyuk was a town, or even a city, 
of a remarkable and developed kind. 

The site lies 32 miles south-east of Konya in southern Turkey and 
will be described on a later page. Here, by way of introduction, 
something may be said of the general framework of terminology and 
technology which are assumed in the presentation of the results so 
far reached, together with a summary of some of these results in the 
Near Eastern context. 

First, as to terminology. Traditionally the prehistory of mankind 
is divided into a number of periods, based on the typology of his 
b and weapons in stone or metal: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, 
Neolithic (Old, Middle and New Stone Age), followed by the 
Bronze and Iron Ages. This typology, devised in the nineteenth 
century for the prehistoric cultures of Europe, is now in many 
respects obsolete, but it is still in common use and has been adapted 
by Near Eastern scholars. However, as excavations have progressed 
and new evidence has become available, it has been found necessary 
to introduce more periods, such as Chalcolithic (a period in which the 
first metal tools and weapons came into use on a modest scale side 


f atal Hiiytik 

by side with others in stone), and further subdivisions, such as a 
Protoneolithic, a Neolithic without pottery ('Pre-pottery' or, less 
committally, *Aceramic') to distinguish these phases or cultures from 
others of a more developed Neolithic kind with pottery. Both 
the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age have likewise been 
subdivided into subperiods, and with good reason. 

Then as to the technology of dating. New methods of dating 
by means of the radioactive isotope of carbon (C-14) is rapidly 
providing a more nearly absolute chronological framework for 
prehistory all over the world, thus supplanting earlier schemes 
based largely upon guesswork. 

A third factor of great importance is geography, for cultural 
development has been by no means the same all over the world, and 
regional differences can be extremely pronounced. Near Eastern 
archaeology during the last twenty years has disposed of the old 
cherished theories that all civilization developed in the Fertile 
Crescent, or, more simply, in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Botanists 
have shown that agriculture, the basis for the development of any 
civilization, did not start in the river valleys of the Euphrates, the 
Tigris or the Nile, but in the upland valleys, where the wild ancestors 
of the cultivated cereals had their natural habitat. 

Subsequently to the Palaeolithic, two culture-provinces existed 
south of the Taurus Mountains, an eastern one in the Zagros Moun- 
tains and a western in Syria-Lebanon and Palestine. Anatolia has 
links with the western, not with the eastern group. This in turn 
suggests that there were a number of foci in the early development of 
civilization, and not a single one. Every year the study of the origins 
of civilization in the Near East becomes more complex and thus more 
human. Natural environment plays a decisive role in these early 
developments: people do not start sowing wheat in areas where 
this plant does not naturally grow, nor is metallurgy invented in 
areas devoid of ores. On the Anatolian plateau obsidian is abundant 
but flint is absent, so flint tools are rare: axes are made of greenstone 
in Anatolia, because this material is abundant, but in Syria and 
Palestine they are made of flint. To polish greenstone is fairly easy, 
but polishing flint is not; Anatolian axes are therefore always 



Syro-Palestinian ones only on the cutting edge. Such 
in technique arise from the material and have nothing 
Jo with date. 

: mechanics of cultural diffusion are many and varied. There is 

t trade with one's neighbours, let us say across the rivers or the 

tins, or that of the nomads whose recurrent and seasonal 

from one area to another makes them excellent culture 

-rs. Another sort of diffusion comes when settlers move on 

ire and colonize new territory, perhaps impelled by drought, 

ods, crop-disease, locusts or other pests, by soil-exhaustion, or 

pulation-increase. Whereas in the former instance time-lags are 

Jigible, they may be pronounced in the latter. The spread of 

riculcure and stock-breeding from Anatolia to Europe is evidently 

i case of the latter form of culture-diffusion, marked by appreciable 

me-lags. A further form of diffusion leading to secondary Neolithic 

iture, in which colonizers with agriculture, etc., come into contact 

ith, and transfer some features to, other people still in an earlier 

stage of development appears characteristic of Europe but is not yet 

attested in the Near East. 

In Western Asia it would appear that there are at the moment at 
least three known centres where early civilizations developed in the 
postglacial period; the Zagros Mountain zone, Palestine and Jordan, 
and the South Anatolian Plateau. Of the preceding Upper Palaeo- 
lithic cultures much less is known in the Near East than in Europe, 
pardy from inadequacy of exploration and partly perhaps because 
in this warmer zone open-air sites may have been more abundant 
than the occupation of caves and rock-shelters which help to guide 
the modern explorer. Not a single open-air site has been excavated, 
not a single Upper Palaeolithic statuette is known; wall-paintings 
have not yet been found, and engravings on rocks and pebbles or 
art mobilier are confined to one small area of the Near East, the region 
of Antalya on the south coast of Turkey. This is enough, however, 
to show that art both in its naturalistic and geometric form, existed 
during the Upper Palaeolithic in Anatolia in a region a few days' 
travelling from the Konya Plain in which the £atal Hiiyiik civiliza- 
tion was to arise. The artistic production of the so-called 'Early 


Qatal Hilyiik 

Natufian culture of Palestine, immediately post-Palaeolitliic, is 
well known and also points to Upper Palaeolithic traditions. Though 
less articulate the engraved pebbles and bone tools of the sites of 
Shanidar and Zawi Chemi, again of ninth millennium date, imply 
the same existence of such a tradition in the Zagros area. (Without 
detailed description or definition, these and other place-names may 
be sufficient to indicate the general shape and extent of the cultural 
problem in the light of present knowledge.) 

In the tool-kit of the various Protoneolithic cultures (Natufian, 
Shanidar, Beldibi) there are numerous resemblances to the final 
Upper Palaeolithic cultures of the same regions (Kebaran, Zarzian 
and Belba§i), but also enough differences to show that neither the 
Natufian, nor the Shanidar culture is descended from the Kebaran 
or the Zarzian. The Beldibi culture, however, looks like a develop- 
ment of its predecessor Belba§i, and both are confined to the south 
coast of Turkey. If so, this is the only instance where a post-Palaeo- 
lithic culture can be derived from an Upper Palaeolithic one in the 
Near East. 

However, archaeologists are agreed in regarding the Proto- 
neolithic and Neolithic populations of the Near East as descendants 
from earlier Upper Palaeolithic tribes of hunters who during the 
crucial Protoneolithic period (roughly the ninth and eighth mil- 
lennia) invented and developed a new settled economy based on the 
domestication of plants and animals. Where and how this came about 
is still obscure but its importance for human development was such 
that the late Professor Childe named it the 'Neolithic Revolution' — 
a phrase which becomes less apt as our knowledge of the uneven and 
complex development of food-production (the process which 
Childe had principally in mind in coining the phrase) becomes a 
little more adequate. 

Although the earliest domesticated plant-remains found do not 
yet much antedate 7000 bc (from the aceramic Neolithic at Hacilar, 
Beidha, Alikosh), the standard of domestication reached and the 
variety of crops grown presupposes a long prehistory of earlier 
agriculture which may well go back to the beginning of the 
Protoneolithic, c. 9000 bc. 


Fen if actual plant-remains have not yet been found, grinding- 
i and mortars, sickles and storage-pits all suggest the beginnings 
riculture. Rock-shelters and the mouths of caves were still in 
but open settlements are known in the Natufian (Eynan, 
ho, Beidha) and in the roughly contemporary Karim Shahirian 
he Zagros zone (Zawi Chemi-Shanidar, Karim Shahir, Ali 
-}. At Zawi Chemi domesticated sheep are attested around 
> bc, which makes sheep the earliest domesticate. Hunting, of 
rse, continued to provide the population with most of their meat. 
he purpose of animal-domestication was food-conservation and the 
luction of milk and, in the case of goat and sheep, hair and wool, 
g and fowling, the collection of roots and berries, mushrooms, 
Is, etc., evidently also added to the variety of foods available,' 
I food was collected in baskets. Awls and needles of bone suggest 
in-garments, and leather-working in general. Spindle-whorls do 
not yet occur. 

[Tie burials in Shanidar cave may belong to the Zawi Chemi 
dement whereas intramural burial is well attested in the Natufian 
Palestine. This difference in burial-habits between the two culture- 
cas south of the Taurus continues into the Neolithic: no burials 
3-e found at Karim Shahir or Jarmo, but at Jericho they are very 
imerous. In the Natufian of Eynan the use of red ochre with 
rials is widespread and there are numerous examples of frag- 
mentary or partial burials. Funeral gifts are common; necklaces and 
ad-dresses of dentalium shells, or perforated gazelles' phalanges 
nc characteristic of the Natufian. The Early Natufians belonged to 
an Eurafrican race (dolichocephalic) which may be related to the 
■pper Palaeolithic population of Europe and is widely distributed 
throughout the Near East. 

Already in Early Natufian times a sanctuary was established near 
he great spring of Jericho. Somewhat later, still well before 8000 bc, 
people with a Natufian stone industry settled around the spring in 
imsy structures and in time a small mound about four metres 
ligh arose as the nucleus of later Jericho. This period has been called 
'Protoneolithic' and is still little known, Two important innovations 
may be noted in the stone industry: the first appearance of notched 



f atal Huyuk 

arrowheads, which indicates an early use of the bow, and the first 
import of obsidian, a black volcanic glass, used for the manufacture 
of tools and weapons. Recent analysis has established a Central 
Anatolian origin for this obsidian and we thus have evidence for 
trade with Anatolia perhaps as early as 8300 bc. 

This small settlement grew rapidly in size and importance during 
the eighth millennium, the 'Pre-Pottery Neolithic A' period of 
Jericho. The houses were round, like those of Early Natufian Eynan 
but built of brick and domed, and soon the need was felt for forti- 
fications. A huge stone tower with internal staircase, three super- 
imposed city walls and a deep rock-cut ditch outside the wall 
introduce monumental architecture in the Near East. The stone 
industry, virtually unchanged from that of the preceding period and 
still microlithic is now accompanied by a fine bone industry. 
Pottery and stone vessels are unknown and containers must have 
been made of basketry, bast or skins. The obsidian trade with 
Anatolia continues. Burial habits betray Natufian origins, partial 
burials are common, groups of skulls occur, but the use of red ochre 
in burials, found elsewhere before and during this time, is not 
recorded. Anthropological research has established a new racial 
element, also dolichocephalic, but more gracile : the so-called Proto- 
Mediterranean, living side by side with the Eurafrican Natufians 
at Nahal Oren in Palestine in the final Natufian, contemporary with 
Jericho Pre-Pottery Neolithic A. Compared to the Early Natufian, 
these later phases appear to have been artistically uncreative. Towards 
the end of the eighth millennium Jericho was deserted and soon after- 
wards the site was taken over by a different cultural group, possibly 
the one against whom the massive fortifications of Jericho had been 
erected. A complete break in culture follows: the newcomers of this 
'Pre-Pottery Neolithic B' period, winch certainly covers the entire 
seventh millennium and may have lasted even longer, still knew no 
pottery, but made vessels of stone. Their houses were no longer 
round, but rectangular. Their bricks were different and larger, their 
plaster floors were covered with red ochre or haematite and polished. 
Circular mats covered some of the floors. A few buildings seem to 
have been shrines; clay figurines of 'Mother Goddess' type appear, 



burial-customs differ little if at all from those of previous periods. 

series of human skulls with features modelled in plaster and 

anted, and groups of human figures more or less naturalistically or 

iiematically modelled but of almost natural size, belong to the 

r phases of the period and suggest cult-practices and revival of 

. The stone-industry is a new one with fine arrowheads, tanged and 

en barbed, large sickle-blades, polished greenstone axes, but little 

sidian. There is evidence for domestic goat, dog (?) and cat (?). 

some stage of the period a wall of large boulders surrounded the 


This culture is known throughout the Jordan valley and has links 
th the aceramic Neolithic of Ras Shamra in North Syria and 
I Ramad in South Syria, whence it may well have come. More 
mote parallels may be suggested with aceramic Hacilar (c. 7000 bc) 
south-western Anatolia, where again we find rectangular build- 
red plaster floors and human skulls used in certain rites, but 
wch features may have been widespread throughout these periods 
:he Near East. 

The next development from aceramic to ceramic Neolithic is 

known south of the Taurus in its early phases only in Syria, at Ras 

barura and Tell Ramad, but has not yet been published in detail 

nd its radiocarbon dating is not yet available. At Jericho there is a 

lacuna, probably of great length, and the evidence from other 

rstinian sites is equally unsatisfactory. 

At Ras Shamra on the North Syrian coast the aceramic period 
{V. 1) comes to an end c. 643 6 ± 100 bc, and is followed (in V. 2) 
without any other appreciable changes in the culture by the introduc- 
£ : q of a fine monochrome burnished ware, usually red and some- 
s brown or black, apparently undecorated. With it are found a 
»arse burnished ware, rarely incised and a thick chalky white ware, 
crumbly and badly fired, which seems to imitate limestone bowls of 
the aceramic period. Another ware is coated with lime-plaster, 
perhaps a hangover from vessels in perishable materials, treated that 
way to make them impervious to heat. Both these latter wares soon 
lisappear, but they are found at the beginning of the period at a 
number of Syrian sites, as well as at Byblos in the Lebanon. At Tell 



(Jatal Huyuk 


Ramad in the south the sequence is similar, but a good number of 
burnished pots are heavily decorated like the Early Neolithic wares 
of Byblos which in my opinion may have been dated much too late. 
What is particularly important is the fact that the fine mono- 
chrome wares of Ras Shamra, Amuq A, etc., clearly show then- 
South Anatolian ancestry and appear in Syria at a date which is 
not far removed from the first appearance of this same ware on the 
Anatolian Plateau at Qatal Huyiik around 6500 bc. Other parallels 
maybe established between Syria and Byblos and the South Anatolian 
Plateau in the obsidian and flint industry of this period and there is 
evidence for a lively trade in these materials at Qatal Huyiik. 

This period of transition from aceramic to ceramic Neolithic, the 
half millennium between 6500 and 6000 bc in round terms, is 
essential to our understanding of cultural progress in the Near East, 
but it is still obscure in Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and Iraq, where the 
inadequately excavated and still unpublished small village-site of 
Jarmo, in the northern foothills of Iraq, appears to offer an eastern 
variant of this important transition. 

The excavations at Qatal Huyiik throw abundant light on the 
civilization of a town of just this period in Anatolia and the great 
depth of the underlying deposits promises to yield evidence for the 
genesis of this remarkable civilization when excavations can be 
resumed. The wealth of material produced by Qatal Huyiik is 
unrivalled by any other Neolithic site. Moreover, not being a village 
but a town or city, its products have a definitely metropolitan 
air: Qatal Huyiik could afford luxuries such as obsidian mirrors, 
ceremonial daggers, and trinkets of metal beyond the reach of most of 
its known contemporaries. Copper and lead were smelted and worked 
into beads, tubes and possibly small tools, thus taking the beginnings 
of metallurgy back into the seventh millennium. Its stone industry 
in local obsidian and imported flint is the most elegant of the period; 
its wooden vessels are varied and sophisticated, its woollen textile 
industry fully developed. At Qatal Hiiyiik we can actually study the 
transition from an aceramic Neolithic with baskets and wooden vessels 
to a ceramic Neolithic with the first pottery. Abundant carbonized 
food-deposits establish the range of crops grown, collected or 


imported from the hills, the standard reached by agriculture c. 
6000 bc, and the centre from which these crops reached Europe at 
the beginning of its Neolithic colonization. The animal-bones and 
die shrines show the importance of a new animal about to be 
lesticated : Bos primigenius. 

As the dead were buried in the settlement, hundreds of Ncohthic 
graves have been found, providing rich evidence for anthropological 
stady. Funeral gifts, though not rich by later standards, are less 
sparing than among other contemporary cultures. Red-ochre burials 
are still found, and there is abundant evidence for secondary burial 
and excarnation (burial after exposure and the removal of flesh and 
sinews). Trade is well established and the main export was probably 
obsidian (and greenstone axes). 

And last but certainly not least there is the evidence for Neolithic 
religion in the form of numerous shrines, artistically decorated with 
reliefs in plaster, either modelled on the walls or cut into the plaster 
when in position, or with wall-paintings in one or more colours, and 
covering a period securely fixed by numerous radiocarbon dates to 
the centuries between 6500 and 5700 bc. In the shrines were found 
cult-statues of male and female deities, carved in a variety of stones or 
modelled in clay and sometimes painted, predecessors of the series 
from Hacilar. Until the discovery of £atal Hiiyuk there was virtually 
no evidence from the Near East wherewith to trace any possible 
connections between the naturalistic and geometric art of the Upper 
Palaeolithic of Europe and the first manifestation of art in the form of 
painted pottery and a few figurines of the Early Chalcolithic of the 
Near East, at least four or even five thousand years later. The 
current interpretation of Upper Palaeolithic art as an expression of 
hunting magic, a view borrowed from backward societies like 
Australian aborigines, etc., offered little hope of estabKsliing any link 
with the later fertility-cults of the Near East which centre around 
the figure of a Great Goddess and her son, even if the presence of 
such a goddess in the Upper Palaeolithic could hardly be denied, 
which it is not. 

The position has radically changed: Qatal Hiiyiik and Hacilar 
have established a link between these two great schools of art 


Qatal Hiiyuk 



and a continuity in religion can be demonstrated from fatal Hiiyiik 
to Hacilar and so on till the great 'Mother-Goddesses' of archaic 
and classical times, the shadowy figures known as Cybele, Artemis 
and Aphrodite. 

At the other end of the scale much work remains to be done, 
but the archaeological, anthropological and artistic record of fatal 
Hiiyiik is already strongly suggestive of an important heritage from 
the Upper Palaeolithic. A. Leroi-Gourhan's brilliant reassessment of 
Upper Palaeolithic religion (Les religions de la prehistoire, Paris, 1964) 
has cleared away many misunderstandings, and the resulting inter- 
pretation of Upper Palaeolithic art centred round the theme of 
complex and female symbolism (in the form of symbols and animals) 
shows strong similarities to the religious imagery of fatal Hiiyuk; 
to such an extent indeed that ancestral Upper Palaeolithic influences 
may still be lingering at fatal Hiiyiik, as they so obviously are in 
numerous cult-practices of which the red-ochre burials, red-stained 
floors, collections of stalactites, fossils, shells, are but a few examples. 

The importance of the site of fatal Hiiyuk, clearly stratified 
and easily datable as it is, for the study of art, archaeology, religion 
and technology of this vital period, contemporary with the generally 
miserable period of the Mesolithic in Europe, needs, I hope, no 
further emphasis. 

The ancient mound of Mersin, called Yiimiik tepe, lies on the 
east bank of the river Soguk Su, some 2 miles west of the modern 
town. It was excavated by Professor John Garstang in the winter 
seasons of 1937-39, and 1946-47 (see J. Garstang, Prehistoric Mersin, 
Oxford, 1953), 

The mound, an oval with a maximum length of 200 metres, covers 
12 acres and rises to a height of 25 metres (over 80 feet) with approxi- 
mately thirty-three building-levels covering a range from the Early 
Neolithic, c. 6250 bc, to medieval Islamic. Whereas the later 
sequence, from the Early Bronze Age onwards, is rather incomplete 
and better attested at Tarsus, the reverse is the case for the early 

periods, the Neolithic and Chalcolithic, for which Mersin remains 
Ae Cilician type-site. 

The first early site to be excavated in Anatolia, Mersin is important 

l that it offers the possibility of establishing links between the 
:lithic and Chalcolithic of the Anatolian Plateau (£atal Huyiik, 
Can Hasan) and that of North Syria (Ras Shamra, Byblos, etc.). 

In the period with which this book is concerned, the Neolithic, 
Mersin was a fair-sized settlement, frequently rebuilt, producing 
pottery very like that of £atal Huyiik, but often bearing impressed 
Dration. Its stone industry, in obsidian imported from the plateau, 
oilers close parallels to that of Qatal Htiyiik, but is more rustic in 
appearance. Local chert is also used. No substantial buildings were 
encountered in the trenches by which the Mersin Neolithic was 
investigated, and no traces of shrines or art were found. 

Unless the limited excavations in the Neolithic levels offer a mis- 
leading picture, Mersin was a rather rustic village site with good 
craftsmanship in pottery and stonework but little or no sophistica- 
tion. In this respect it greatly resembles the other Neolithic establish- 
ments in Syria, the Lebanon and Palestine, but clearly differentiates 
itself from the artistic people on the Anatolian Plateau. 

A small Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic mound lies about one mile 
west of the village of Hacilar, 17 miles west of Burdur, on the 
Lnatolian Plateau, roughly north of the Mediterranean port of 
Antalya. The site has a maximum diameter of about 150 metres and 
is 5 metres in height. Excavations were carried out there under the 
auspices of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara in the 
years 1957-60 by the author. The final publication has not yet 
appeared, but Anatolian Studies, VIII-XI (1958-61) contain the 
preliminary reports on the excavations. 

The excavations revealed remains of three different periods : the 
aceramic Neolithic village, dating from c. 7000 bc; then after a long 
gap in occupation a Late Neolithic village (Hacilar IX- VI), dating 
from about 5750-5600 bc, followed without any break by Early 




Catal Hiiyiik 

Chalcolithic occupation (Hacilar V-I), the main characteristic of 
which is a sophisticated painted pottery. The settlement came to an 
end about 5000 bc and the site was not reoccupied. 

The main characteristics of these three periods are : rectangular 
mud-brick architecture with red-painted plaster floors, no pottery 
or figurines and virtually no finds (of small objects), except grain, 
for the aceramic Neolithic. 

A highly sophisticated Late Neolithic settlement is Hacilar VI, 
with big houses, monochrome and some simple painted pottery, a 
fine series of statuettes in clay and stone vessels, bone objects, grain, 
etc. There is a rich Early Chalcolithic with monochrome and fine 
painted pottery, less naturalistic figurines, fewer objects but abundant 
food remains. Poor architectural vestiges mark Levels V-III, but 
there is a complete settlement in Level II and part of a great fortress 
in Level I. Considerable changes in painted pottery in Level I suggest 
newcomers with different techniques and traditions. 

Links with Qatal Huyiik are particularly notable in the Late 
Neolithic pottery and clay statuettes, but diminish during the Early 



The Site of Qatal Huyuk 

Catal huyuk, one of the most ancient sites in Turkey, lies on 
the Anatolian plateau, nearly 3,000 feet above sea-level and 
32 miles south-east of Konya. It is situated in the centre of fertile Fig. 1 

wheat lands, watered by the (Jarsamba £ay which, emerging from 
the Lake of Bey§ehir in the Taurus Mountains, flows into the 
Konya Plain near (Jumra to lose itself in the salt steppe beyond Qatal Plate II 

Hiiyiik. The great double mound of £atal Hiiyiik, which derives its 
name from a road-fork at its northern end, was built on an old branch 
of the river about a mile south of the village of Kiictikkoy, the 
headquarters of the expedition. 

The vast plain of Konya is rich in ancient sites, but though a few 
were recorded by R. O. Arik between Konya and £umra no 
systematic survey of the plain was made until 19 51, when the author, 
as a scholar of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, began 
"lis Anatolian survey with the Konya Plain. Although the mound of 
(Jatal Hiiyiik was noted in the distance in 1952, dysentery and lack of 
transport prevented its more formal discovery till it was possible to 
complete the survey of the more distant parts of the Konya Plain. 
On a cold November day in 1958, just before nightfall, the author, 
accompanied by Mr Alan Hall and Mr David French, reached the 
double mound of Qatal Hiiyiik. Much of the eastern (Neolithic) 
mound was covered by turf and ruin-weed (peganum harmald) 
bat where the prevailing south-westerly winds had scoured its 
surface bare there were unmistakable traces of mud-brick buildings, 
Iborned red in a conflagration contrasting with patches o£ grey ash, 
liroken bones, potsherds and obsidian tools and weapons. To our 
surprise these were found not only at the bottom of the mound, but 
they continued right up to the top, some 15 metres above the level 
of the plain. 


i Early Neolithic sites 
in southern Anatolia 
and North Syria and 
the sources of raw 
materials in the area 


The importance of our discovery was clear from the beginning, 
for both the pottery and the obsidian arrowheads found were 
strikingly like the neolithic material excavated years ago by Professor 
J. Garstang in the deepest levels of the site of Mersin, some 200 miles 
away on the southern Turkish (Cilician) coast. It should be remem- 
bered that in 1958 it was still widely believed that there had been no 

Neolithic habitation on the Anatolian Plateau. The mound at (Jatal 
Hiiyuk provided eloquent proof to refute this theory, and what was 
particuarly encouraging was the huge size of the site (a third of a 
mile in length), the absence of thick layers of later occupation and 
the presence of a somewhat later mound on the other side of the 
river, which looked as if it would continue the sequence from 


Qatal Hiiyiik 

Neolithic to early Chalcolithic, just as at Mersin. Some of the 
painted pottery picked up there could indeed be linked to the latter 
site, but most of it "was differently decorated. 

Here then was a major site demanding excavation, but at the time 
of the discovery we were fully engaged by the excavations of Hacdar, 
a site near the lake of Burdur some 200 miles west of Qatal Hiiyiik. 
It was only in i960 after a fourth season of excavations that virgin 
soil was reached over a large area at Hacilar and excavations ceased. 

Excavations at £atal Hiiyiik began in 1961 and were continued 
on a larger scale in 1962 and 1963, with ever-increasing success. 
In 1964, however, the excavation was interrupted and, instead, 
conservation-work was undertaken in the Ankara Museum by a team 
of specialists from the Institute of Archaeology of London University. 
The moment was opportune to evaluate the evidence and to summar- 
ize in this volume the result of three years' work at this site, and its 
bearing on the Neolithic development of Anatolia. 

One of the main reasons for selecting Qatal Hiiyiik for excavation 
was that it seemed to fill the gap in occupation established at Hacilar 
between the desertion of the aceramic (non-pottery) village and the 
first arrival of the Late Neolithic people (c. 5750 bc) with a difterent 
and already fully developed culture. Earlier stages of the Neolithic, 
ancestral to those of Late Neolithic Haalar, evidently existed and 
the site of Qatal Hiiyiik offered the best opportunity to explore such 
Early Neolithic cultures. Excavation at this site would also serve to 
fill the geographical gap between Hacilar and Mersin, and in view of 
the evident importance of the great alluvial plain of Konya (Jatal 
Hiiyiik was expected to produce local peculiarities, different from the 
Neolithic of Mersin. 
Plate 1 The main mound of Qatal Hiiyiik (the eastern one) forms an oval, 

measuring about 450 metres in length and 275 in width, thus cover- 
ing about 32 acres. This makes it the largest Neolithic site hitherto 
known in the Near East. Its height is about 17-5 metres above the 
present level of the plain, and a small sounding has already estab- 
lished that occupation extends to a mimmum of 4 metres below this 
point, without reaching virgin soil. The depth of Neolithic deposits 
at (Jatal Hiiyiik (19 metres or more) is nearly twice that of Mersin 


, ' 

2 Site plan of Qatal Hiiyiik showing the 
extent of the excavations 

and considerably more than that of Jericho (13-7 metres), and the 
reason for it lies in the fine preservation of a number of building- 
levels, where the walls of houses are preserved to a height of 2 
metres or more. 

Erosion has played its part in shaping the contours of the mound 
and it is clear that a considerable depth of deposit has been washed 
away by the rains and thunderstorms of the last seven thousand years. 
Of the topmost building-level (O) only some foundations remain; 
the floors have fallen a prey to the elements, and on the western 
slope the outermost rows of buildings show the same unmistakable 
signs of denudation. 

The mound consists of a great central hump, steep on both long 
sides but fading gently towards the south, whereas at the northern 
end there is a secondary but lower hump. Along its eastern side lies a 
fairly broad 'skirt' of occupation now cut by the irrigation-channels 
which surround the mound; and from the occupation-debris 

Fig. 2 


Qatal Hiiyiik 

dug up from these canals it would appear that the 'skirt' dates 
from a fairly late phase of the Neolithic period, roughly corre- 
sponding to Levels IV-II on the top. Part of this low-lying area 
is covered by a modern cemetery, but the full extent of the site 
extends a little beyond the line of the irrigation-channels. On the 
western side, the foot of the mound nearest to the old river bed is 
under cultivation and a dust-track still in use prevents exploration 
down to the river-bed. 
Plate 2 Excavations have been concentrated so far in an area of about 

an acre on the exposed western slope, where burnt buildings were 
visible even before the start of the excavation. Moreover, one would 
expect the earliest occupation of the site to have started nearest to the 
river. What sort of quarters and buildings lie on the other side of the 
mound or on the flat eastern 'skirt' we have not yet ascertained; but 
after three seasons of work it could appear from the gradual slope 
of the buildings towards the north and east that the original centre 
of the mound lies to the north-north east of the area in which we 
have been working. Although much has already been accomplished 
it is clear that this area alone cannot give us a complete picture of the 
structure of the mound as a whole. 

No remains of buildings of a date later than the Neolithic have 
yet been encountered on the mound, but the upper levels of the site 
are badly infiltrated by brick-pits of the late Iron Age and the 
Hellenistic period. On top of the mound a pit of the latter date was 
found with bricks stacked for drying still in situ. Some of these 
shapeless pits are up to 4 metres in depth and cut straight through the 
underlying Neolithic houses and shrines. On the western slope, 
however, very few pits were found and the buildings are therefore 
better preserved. 

It does appear from the area excavated that occupation gradually 
shrank in extent after building-level V, so that we were fortunate in 
obtaining steadily increasing ground-plans for the lower building- 
levels. It is possible that the occupation on the eastern 'skirts' dates 
from these later phases and corresponds to an eastward shift in the 
F & 3 settlement, so that the total area of occupation in Levels V-I need 

not have been smaller than that of earlier levels. 

i The mounds of Qatal Hiiyiik seen from the north. Qatal Hiiyiik on the Anatolian plateau, 3,000 
feet above sea level, lies 33 miles south-east of Konya. It is a double mound, the eastern neolithic 
one rising to a height of about 50 feet, covers 3 2 acres, whereas the western mound, its successor, is 
little smaller, but only 20 feet in height, and still unexcavated. Between the two mounds lies the old 
bed of the Qarsamba (pay, the source of the rich alluvial soils on which the neolithic people of (patal 
Hiiyiik practised intensive agriculture. The now almost treeless plain was once covered with woods 
and parkland inhabited by Red Deer and wild cattle 

2 Denuded mud-brick walls of building-level V on left and burnt and well-preserved rooms of 
building-level VI on right, on the west slope of the neolithic mound, looking south to the plain. 
The photograph shows the neat and regular layout of the rooms; one next to the other without 

3 House Vn.12 seen from the south-west comer. A classic example of the arrangement of platforms 
in a house with east-west axis with a single platform and bench against the north wall and further 
platforms against the west wall. The hearth is just visible to the right 

: c passages. See plan, Figs. 7-9. Hearths and ovens are easily recognized. "When building 
a are so denuded it is almost impossible to distinguish between houses and shrines having the 
ins but different decoration 

. House A.III. 10, the south-east corner with details of the oven in the south wall (bottom left) 
ice renewed, bonded brickwork and the diagonal mark of a wooden ladder set against the plaster 
the wall. The position of the ladder, the oven and the hearth never changes in the buildings of 

Qaxai Huyiik 

5-7 Wall-painting, above, in red on white from house VI.B.65 the subject of which, though uncer- 
tain, may include the representation of ladders. Below, superimposed bread ovens of building-lcvcls 
IV and V in a domestic courtyard, open to the sky. They are constructed of mud-bricks set on edge 
and their great size suggests a bakery rather than private domestic use. Opposite, above, hand and 
foot impressions in red paint on the east wall of house VLA.63 near the porthole-like doorway lead- 
ing to the kitchens. Such open doorways, never provided with doors, are found in most houses 
and one could only crawl through them into storerooms or other similar small rooms 

^11 of shrine VI. io, 

w£ up to roof-level, 1 1 

fle^e the floor of the 

she lower 2 feet are 

: original structure. 

ixx levels show clearly 

:. Note the charac- 

-.verhang of the 

. rentral post sup- 

bv a ram's head in 

.i the pillar of the 

xi on the platform's 

io North wall of shrine VII. io below the decayed remains of its successor shrine 
VI. io (see Plate 9), a characteristic example of continuity of cult at Qatal Huyiik. 
Less well-preserved is the central post and ram's head with a single horn and the 
plaster of the walls has been cut into animal shapes 



. »■. JR 

? ; ^ T 

55 "*-• ;, 



II, 12 Examples of bulls at Qatal Hiiyiik. The fragmentary painting of a black bull, above, on the 
north wall of shrine IX.8 is seen through the doorway leading into the sanctuary from an ante- 
chamber. Only the legs and hoofs of a bull facing east (right) are preserved and to the left its hind- 
quarters are partly obliterated by a cut-out figure of a feline head. The cut-out figure of a black 
bull, below, on the north wall of shrine VII. 8, is two building-levels later, but in the same position 
as the figure above, and illustrates a further instance of continuity of cult- It is cut through nearly 
a hundred layers of white plaster but fortunately, not through the earlier wall paintings of the 
vultures (Plates 48, 49) 


M < 




13, 14 Above, a baked clay model of a boar's Lead from a pit in Level VI. It is part of a figurine used 
in hunting rituals in which the animal was magically killed or disabled in effigy. The head should 
be compared to the cut-out in shrine VII.45 (Fig. 27). Below, the north wall of shrine VLB. 8 widi a 
damaged figure of a huge cut-out bull in the same position as its predecessor in shrine VII. 8, 
immediately below. There is evidence to show that this bull, more graceful than its predecessor, 
was alternately painted red and white and was less deeply incised. There were no wall-paintings 
below it and it lasted through both phases of Level VI 

15, 16 The corner platform and the bench of shrine VI.61. This impressive building, evidently 
dedicated to the cult of the male god, symbolized in the form of a wild bull, bore 110 wall-paintings 
or reliefs. It was decorated with two huge bucrania set on the edge of die north-east corner plat- 
form, above, and -with an even more impressive row of seven horn cores of Bos prirnigenins sec in the 
bench at the southern end of the main platform, below. Six of these were at the same level and the 
seventh raised above it, like a serried row of stylized bulls' heads, one behind the other, in awesome 

rj Plaster relief of a stag 
feom the north-east comer 
ei shrine VII. 10. Set in a 
fellow niche in the north 
wall, this relief was pro- 
•faced partly by model- 
fling, partly in cut-out 
technique. Nearly three 
feet in height it shows a 
sag, perched on a rock 
earning its head backward, 
as if glancing at its pur- 
scers, an attitude found 
Efco in the stag hunt in 
Mates 54, 55. and in the 
Late Neolithic theriomor- 
jliic vases of Hacilar VI. 
The left outline was pro- 
dkjced by cutting away 
fee plaster, the rest is 
modelled in low relief 

1 8, 19 The Leopard Shrine (VI.B.44). The main panel on the west wall of this shrine was decorated 
with the bold relief of two painted leopards, the decoration of which had been repeated over and 
over again, so that finally there were nearly forty layers of painted plaster. One of the finest and 
best preserved is illustrated in a copy, above, and a detail of the right-hand leopard, below, shows the 
actual state of preservation. The burning of the two wooden posts between which the panel was 
set partly destroyed the animals and the hindquarters of the left-hand animal were carried away by 
a deep Hellenistic pit 

30, 21 The Leopard Shrine (VLB. 44). The entire relief, above, nearly six feet long was set above a 
red panel, flanked by painted posts. In its later phases, which may be assigned to Level VI. A, the 
painting became less naturalistic and the fine rosettes of the earlier phases were replaced by dots 
and dashes, executed in black (as before) but on a lemon yellow background, below. The eyes, 
mouth and the outline of the claws were still accentuated in red. As layer upon layer of plaster was 
added the animals gradually lost their crisp outline 

22-24 Bulls' heads in plaster, incorporating the horn cores of Bos primigenius, often of considerable 
size, are a feature of the west walls of many Catal HUyuk shrines. Two bulls' heads of unequal size 
with red-painted ears and muzzles protrude from the right-hand body of the Twin Goddess in 
shrine \T.r4, above left. Two others formed part of the decoration of the west wall of shrine VII.31, 
above right, the rest of which is lost. Earlier ones were provided with clay horns, below, and faced 
the relief of a goddess, with defaced head, in shrine VII. 3 r 




25, 26 Plaster reliefs of goddesses are frequent in the shrines of Qatal Hiiyiik VI and VII. Arms and 
legs are either outstretched, above, and Plate 24, or turned upwards and the latter indicates a position 
of childbirth, below. The lower part of a goddess figure from, the north wall of shrine VII.45, above, 
resembles that of shrine VII. 31 (Plate 24), but die figure on the west wall of shrine VI. 8, below, is 
shown giving birth to a bull's head, placed below her legs (cf. Fig. 23). Goddesses giving birth are 
unpainted, the others are often 'dressed' in a bright colour 




,? rt **' i ^B^'^V "'/ ,_ ^ 



Z. * 

2 7 , 28 Contrasting symbols of life and death are a constant feature of Catal Huyiik. In the third 
phase of the decoration of the east wall of shrine VT.8, two rows of lower jaws of wild boar were 
Stuck into the wall, to be covered in the next stage by womens' breasts modelled in clay. On the 
corresponding wall of the neighbouring shrine VI.10, below, a pair of woman's breasts each con- 
tained the head of a Griffon vulture (Gypsfulvus), the beak of which protruded from the open 
red-painted mpples. Beyond the post there was a horn in plaster, evidently a male symbol; and 
beyond the breasts a huge bull's head surmounted a red-painted niche 


The Dating of Catal Hiiyiik 

The fifty-foot deposit of Neolithic remains at £atal Hiiyiik, 
so far explored, has yielded the remains of twelve successive Fig. 3 

building-levels. These represent twelve different cities, not phases 
or repairs of single buildings. They have been numbered from the 
top (O-X) and there are two different building-levels in VI; VI A 
and VI B. It is possible that Level VII also consists of two levels, but 
this is not yet certain. Not all these were of the same duration and 
this is evident not only from the series of radiocarbon dates, but also 
from the state of the buildings themselves. Dwellings constructed 
of mud-brick are generally assumed to have short lives, but these 
vary from region to region and depend as much on the quality of 
the mud-brick and the solidity of construction, upkeep, etc., as on 
earthquakes, floods and the climatic conditions of the region. 

At (patal Hiiyiik each building had its own walls and was hemmed 
in by others, a method of construction which gave greater solidity 
to the buildings than they would have had if free-standing. More- 
over, the inhabitants were careful to replaster their buildings con- 
tinually, both inside and outside, a routine which materially con- 
tributes to the longer life of a mud-brick building by keeping out 
damp and rain, the main enemy of sun-dried brick. In the Konya 
Plain, the average annual rainfall is the lowest in Turkey, less than 
16 inches (400 mm.), and most of the rain falls at two distinct 
periods, around May and November, in the latter half of the year 
often in the form of snow. Only the summer months are hot, dry 
and rainless, and to this day replastering is carried out after the rains 
of spring, to dry slowly during the summer. Weather-conditions 
allow for building and plastering but once during the year, and there 
is no reason to assume that conditions were essentially different 
during the Neolithic period. 



j Plan and section oftytal Hilyiik showing the shifting pattern of occupation in tlie excavated 


At £atal Hiiyiik in every room, both large and small, built-in 
furniture, walls, floors and ceiling, were coated with a fine tenacious 
white clay (ak toprak), found locally and still in use. The layers of 
plaster in each building can be counted and, though they are roughly 
consistent within each building-level, they vary considerably from 
level to level. This surely is an indication of the age of a building, 
the more so when one finds that those buildings that have been re- 
plastered most often (up to ioo plaster layers in Level VI 33 and up to 
120 in Level VII) are in a poor state of preservation compared to 
those with thirty to sixty plaster layers which are well-preserved. 
In the former cases the buildings had become worn out; the plaster 
bulged, the walls were leaning at drunken angles, and they had 
become so dangerous for human habitation that they were con- 
demned, pulled down and levelled. This was done by removing the 
flat roof and the beams on which it rested, by pulling out the wooden 
wall-posts which supported the main roof-beams, and by knocking 
down the upper parts of the walls until the room was filled with 
broken brick and plaster. In none of the buildings of the upper levels 
(VI A-I), where the wall-plaster is well preserved and relatively thin, 
is there evidence for deliberate demolition, but these levels had been 
destroyed by fire when the houses were still fit for habitation. 

It appears then that with annual replastering the age of each 
house and building-level can be roughly counted and the maximum 


The Dating of Qatal Hiiyiik 

to which a house was allowed to stand varied from a century to 
years. Unforeseen circumstances usually shortened this excessive 
and on account of the frequent fires in the upper levels 
rate of building increased considerably. Confirmation for the 
:h of individual building-levels, as based on the annual rate of 
istering, has come from radiocarbon dates. Counts of plaster 
rs then further help as a check on the accuracy of such C-14 
daces and between the two systems a fairly reliable absolute dating 
3e established. 

1 Hiiyiik and Hacilar are the only two sites in Anatolia 

m have been dated by a consistent series of radiocarbon dates, 

md the results shown on p. 52 are on the whole very satisfactory 

le remembers that any of these dates may be a hundred years 

:.:< :r;ly or too late; but a century is of little importance for the 

dating of cultures up to 9,000 years old. Most of the dates obtained 

::::~j from charred timber (roof-beams or posts) in burnt buildings 

thus date the cutting of the tree for the construction of the 

Iding in which it was found. Such dates give one the date of 

construction, whereas dates obtained from grain in burnt buildings 

the date of the destruction, grain being never much more than a 

rest old before it is consumed. Whereas grain cannot be kept for 

ewer, timber (mainly oak and juniper at C^atal Hiiyiik) can and was 

fe-used, and much of the wood from the unburnt Levels VII and 

¥1 B was evidently saved for re-use or for fuel. In this way it is 

dble to obtain dates which are far too early for the buildfng- 

. .5 in which such old wood was found ; e.g. in the case of the C-14 

dale for Level IV, 6329 bc±99, which may represent a post taken 

Horn a building in Level IX, or the 6200 bc ± 97 date which comes 

almost certainly from Level VII, although it was re-used in a building 

of Level VI B. 

The radiocarbon dates from Levels IX and X, derived from the 

aralies of hearths, give only an approximate idea of the dates of those 

Is. Although the general sequence of radiocarbon dates is 

. : distent, individual dates must be used with caution and they 

:;,:.: uld not be dogmatically accepted if other evidence argues against 

iheir validity. Nevertheless, it remains our only method for dating 


Chronological Table 


C. 5O0O BC 

c. 5250 

c 5435 

c. 5500 
c. 5600 





5434± 131 




c. 5700 

VI s620± 7p 


IX $614^92 

Radiocarbon dates in italic type. 

-^extreme tolerance. 

All dates calculated with half-life of 


Doubtful dates in brackets. 


(Jatal Huyuk 


c. 5720 
c- 5750 

c. 5790 
c 5830 

c. 5880 





IV {%2$±99) 

V 5920±94 

c 5950 

c. 6050/6070 
c. 6200 

c. 6280 

c. 6380? 

c. 6500 

VIA 57^2 ±96 destruction 
5815^92 beginning 


VI B 5908±93 

5986±94 beginning 

TO 6200±97 (?) 

IX 6486 ± 102 

X 638^101 

Pre-X floor levels (not yet dated) 



The Dating of Qatal Hiiyuk 

soda early cultures and as the method gains in precision so will our 
;-.-j:-g gradually improve. The old method of guesswork-dating is 

bo longer acceptable in scientific archaeology. 

The fourteen radiocarbon dates then place (patal Hiiyuk X-II 

between c. 6500 and 5700 bc in a space of eight hundred years and 

we may perhaps allow another century for Levels I and O. After 
5600 bc the old mound of (^atal Hiiyuk was abandoned, for what 

icason is not known, and a new site was founded across the river, 
il Hiiyuk West. This appears to have been occupied for at least 

another 700 years until it also was deserted without, however, any 

obvious signs of violence or deliberate destruction. 




The Architecture of Catal Huyiik 


t has been the purpose of the excavations to try to establish the 

lay-out of the architectural complex or complexes and so to obtain 

the maximum amount of information about the nature of this 

Plate 2 Neolithic city. Horizontal digging was therefore resorted to rather 

than vertical digging by means of trenches, which might give a 
stratigraphic sequence without much delay, but would tell us far too 
little about the nature of the buildings. Moreover, the presence of 
precious wall-paintings would not have allowed vertical excavation, 
and buildings had to be cleared laboriously one after the other. It is 
for this reason that virgin soil has not yet been reached anywhere 
on the site. 

Although we have thus learnt much about the nature of the 
settlement and the ways in which these Neolithic builders planned 
their structures we have not yet succeeded in isolating a complete 
building-unit in the space of an acre, and these units appear to have 

^been of considerable size. In building-levels VI A and VI B we 
have come nearest to this goal in locating courtyards and an outer 
wall round three sides of a vast block of buildings, but its eastern 
Figs 8, p edge remains to be found. Of the later levels (V-II) we have found 

only the western edge and open space beyond, and of building-levels 
I and O little is still known, for their remains are either preserved 
only in limited areas (Level I) or are too badly preserved (Level O) 
to allow any statements to be made about the overall character of the 
buildings concerned. 

In dealing with the architecture of £atal Huyiik we are therefore 

obliged to concentrate on those building-levels (II-VII) which have 

Figs 4-10 produced a coherent plan. The earlier levels, VIII-X, have only been 

tested in a few restricted soundings and they seem to follow the 
general pattern of building seen in Levels VII-VI. 


Tlie Architecture ofC^atal Huyiik 

!y, the lower strata were reached at the end of the 1963 

1 in a test trench below the floor of a house of Level X which 

\ only a metre wide and 3 metres long. Whereas this clearly shows 

the occupation on the mound prior to Level X was at least 4 

ictres thick, the nature of the material was such as to suggest that 

' were dealing with at least ten successive plaster floors of court- 

ffds at the western edge of the ancient mound and not with the 

ranains of superimposed houses, unless these were of an altogether 

clifiEexent nature. 

buildings at Qatal Hiiyiik were constructed of sun-dried 

xxangular mud-bricks, reeds and plaster. The bricks were formed in 

a wooden mould squared with an adze. Stone is not found in the 

iryial plain in which the site was situated and for foundations up 

to six courses of mud-brick were used, well sunk below the level 

F the floor. The use of pisi or tow/ was apparently unknown. Most 

f the brick was made with much straw, but in Level III sandy brick 

without any straw is also found and contrary to the well-known 

proverb it is of excellent quality. Most of the bricks are greenish 

in colour, but the sandy bricks are buff. A black mortar, rich in 

ash and broken bones (occupation-debris), was lavishly used, espec- 

ifly in the lower levels (VI) where the layer of mortar is often 

nearly as thick as the bricks (6 cms as against 8 cms). Bonding was 


Brick sizes varied and more than one size was in use in each level ; 
the sizes are here tabulated: 

Level II 

Level III 

Level IV 
Level V 

Standard size : 65/67 X 3 7 x 8 cms 
Large size : 95 x 3 7 x 8 cms 
42 x 25 x 8 cms 
72x32x8 cms 

62x16x8-10 cms 
92x16x10 cms 
Level VI A Standard size: 32 x 16 x 8 cms 
Others : 3 2 x 22 x 9 cms 

38x12x8 cms 


(Jatal Hiiyiik 

Level VI B Standard size : 32x16x8 cms 

Others : 40+ ? x 24 x 10 cms 

44-50 x 3 1 X 10 cms 
The flat roofs were made of bundles of reeds with a thick mud 
cover on top and a mat below to prevent an incessant rain of bits of 
reeds falling on the floors. Two stout main beams and numerous 
small beams supported the heavy roofs. There is no direct evidence 
for the existence of a second storey of light materials or a partial 
second storey such as a verandah with columns, extending over part 
of the building, but some houses may have been provided with 
them. In any case some structure protected the light- and ventilation- 
shafts and the entrance-hole in the roof along the south wall. This 
may have taken the form of a hutch of wood provided with a 
wooden door, or it may have been a verandah or portico. That such 
protection was indeed provided is clear from the good preservation 
of the wall-plaster near the entrance-hole; this would not have been 
the case if the plaster had been exposed to the open sky. 

Entry through the roof is one of the most characteristic features of 
all buildings at Qatal Hiiyiik; there was no other access to houses and 
shrines. But secondary rooms, used for storage, entry-passages or 
light-shafts, are entered from the main room through low open 
doorways, square, rectangular or oval in shape and up to 72 or 77 
centimetres in height. None of these openings was provided with a 

Plate 7 door, and one could only move through them in a squatting or 

crawling position. Each house had a wooden ladder made of squared 
timber (10-12-5 cms thick), one side of which rested along the south 

Plate 4 wall, where it has left an easily recognizable diagonal mark in the 

plaster. This ladder led to a hole in the roof and through this same 
hole the smoke from hearth, oven and lamps, escaped. For this 
reason the kitchen end of the house, where hearth and oven are 
situated, is always placed along the south wall. To retain the maxi- 

Plate 4; Fig. 11 mum amount of heat, ovens (there may be more than one) are 

always set partly into the wall. They are oval in shape and vary in 
height, but all are provided with flat tops. Near the oven there is 
usually a deep but low recess in the south wall, which was evidently 
used for the storage of fuel (wood, brush or straw). The hearths are 


4-7 Plans of building-level II, 
above; III, above right; IV, 
centre; V, below 

mw^ww^ " 




8 Plan of building- 
level VIA 

Plate 3 
Fig. u 

rectangular or square in Levels I-VI B, round or square in the lower 
levels, but they are always raised and provided with a curb to 
prevent the spilling of ashes and glowing embers. It is unusual 
to find more than one hearth in each room, and the kitchen part of 
the house occupied one-third of the available space. 

Raised platforms were arranged along the walls in the shape of an 
L around the remaining square which was sunk and covered with a 
mat. The usual arrangement of the platforms provides for a small 
square platform in the north-east corner and a much larger platform 
with a higher bench at the south end (nearest to the kitchen) situated 
against the east wall. This was framed between two wooden posts 
which were plastered and frequently painted red. One or more 
subsidiary platforms are found against the north wall and still another 
frequently occupies the south-west corner near the oven. This 
arrangement is the normal one in buildings whose main axis is 


9 Plan of building-level VI B 

10 Plan of building-level VII 

"denuded slops 

(Jatal Hiiyiik 


oriented north to south, but in those buildings that have a west-east 
orientation the small platform is set against the north wall, though 
the larger platform and bench remain constantly set against the 
east wall. 

These platforms, as carefully plastered as the rest of the house and 
frequently provided with rounded kerbs, are the prototypes of the 
Turkish sofa (and divan) and served for sitting, working and sleep- 
ing. They are often covered with reed or rush matting as a base for 
cushions, textiles and bedding. Below these platforms the dead lay 
buried, and from studying the burial customs it is possible to affirm 
that the small corner platform belonged to the male, the master, 
whereas the much larger and main platform belonged to the mistress 
of the house. The woman's bed never changed its place, nor did the 
arrangement of the kitchen, but the man's bed did. The sociological 
implications to be drawn from this are fairly obvious. Children were 
buried either with the women or under the remaining platforms, but 
they never accompany the master of the house. 

From the bedding space provided by these platforms, which may 
vary from house to house and shrine to shrine, one can possibly 
make some calculations as to the size of a family. The main platform 
easily holds two adults, the corner ones a single adult or two small 
children. No single building provided sleeping space for more than 
eight people and in most cases the family was probably smaller. 
There is one house with but a single platform (A.IIL13); there are 
several with two, but none have more than five. 

The arrangement of sleeping platforms is not confined to houses 
but is also found in buildings which, on account of their interior 
decoration, served as sanctuaries or shrines. Here also the dead were 
buried beneath the platforms and hearths and ovens are found. 
However, for reasons to be explained later it seems unlikely that the 
shrines were continuously inhabited. What section of the population 
was entitled to live and be buried in the sanctuaries is of course 
unknown, but it would be reasonable to assume that it was the 
priestly class and their families. 

It is evident from the wall-paintings in houses and shrines that there 
was a system of bringing light into the interior of these buildings 

The Architecture oj ' Qatal Hiiyuk 

11 Diagrammatic view of a 
typical main room at Qatal 
Hiiyuk showing timber frame- 
work, panelling, and platforms, 
bench, hearth, oven and ladder 

other than that of a few stone lamps put in small niches in the 
wall. As the buildings rose up the slope of the mound in serried ranks, 
lighting would have been difficult but for the fact that each house 
had its own walls and its own roof level different from those of the 
surrounding buildings. By stepping the roofs light could be brought 
into the rooms through a series of small windows set high up in two 
of the four walls below the eaves (in the excavated area in the south 
and west wall, so that the light fell on the platforms along the east 
and north walls). It may be surmized that in buildings on the east side 
of the mound the windows were in the east and south wall and the 
position of the platforms was reversed. The position of the platforms 
is probably conditioned by the necessity of bringing light into the 
room and would differ according to the location of the building on 
the mound. 

With the exception of occasional holes filled with sand or gravel 
set near the hearth, there are no arrangements for drainage in these 

Fig. 12 



Qatal Htiyiik 

12 Schematic reconstruction of a section of Level VI with houses and shrines rising in terraces one 
above each other 

buildings. For sanitation and. rubbish disposal any open space, either 
courtyards or ruined buildings, were used and the thick ash deposits 
in these open spaces were efficient sterilizers. Houses and shrines 
were kept scrupulously clean; remains of meals such as broken bones 
are a rarity in any building. 

Most houses have a storeroom and in some of these grain-bins of 
dried clay, about a metre high, were found in pairs or in rows. These 
were filled from the top and emptied through a small hole at the 
bottom (at floor level) so that the lowermost deposit of grain, most 
exposed to damp, was always used first. In other storerooms grain 
was stored in coiled baskets or in skins, but storage in pits lined with 
straw or matting, though common in later periods, appears to have 



The Architecture ofQatal Huyiik 

been almost unknown. One is given the impression that each family 

baked its own bread, but in Levels IV and V huge bread-ovens Fig. 6 

with diameters of 1-5-1 -8 metres and built of bricks set on edge 

were found in a courtyard which suggests a bakery. 

Other storerooms contained rows of clay boxes filled with 
knuckle-bones, stone tools, axes, polishing stones or sling ammuni- 
tion, these latter particularly common in Levels II and III. Saddle 
querns and mortars are found in most houses and are often sunk into 
the ground, in contrast to the later practice at Hacdar where they are 
embedded in raised platforms to facilitate grinding. 

A few houses have side by side with the usual oven another with a 
separate fire-chamber and a larger domed chamber than most ovens. 
These may have been simple pottery kilns. The domed chamber is 
always ruined which suggests that it was rebuilt for each firing and 
was completely closed during the firing process. 

Survivals of Earlier Forms of Architecture 

A further feature of the £atal Huytik buildings which is particularly 
interesting is the use of a timber frame in the mud-brick construc- 
tion, which accounts for the characteristic panelling of the walls. 
In the earlier building-levels this timber frame is very pronounced 
(X-VI A) whereas in the later levels, though still present, it tends to 
become less conspicuous. 

By pure chance the conflagration in which the settlement of Level 
VI A perished has led to the preservation of the entire north wall and 
the adjoining sections of both the west and the east wall of shrine 
E.VI.10, thus giving us the entire height of the building (3-3 metres Plate 9 

interior measurement) and precious details about its constructions. 
The wooden framework was burnt out, but the baking of the brick 
walls has preserved its skeleton so that an accurate reconstruction can Fig. 1 1 

be made of the building. 

The most interesting feature of diis construction is certainly the 
iact that the wooden framework could stand by itself, independent 
of the mud-brick walls. The brick filling (32 cms or just 1 foot thick) 
is awkward and of little strength and one can hardly escape the 


Qatid Hiiyiik 


conclusion that the timber frame incorporates the main elements not 
of a brick, but of a wooden house, where the panels between the 
horizontal and vertical beams were filled with partitions of lathe- 
and-plaster or wooden planks. Peculiar to this wooden structure was 
a sort of corbelling, i.e. above each horizontal beam the walls are < 
brought forward up to 23 cms, a feature that is not only decorative 
but originally devised to decrease the width of the room so that 
shorter timbers could be used for the roof-beams. 

The origins of such wooden houses must be sought not in the 
almost treeless Konya Plain, but in the forest zone of the Taurus 
Mountains or their foothills on the edge of the plain. In the earliest 
levels of Qatal Hiiyiik it would appear that this type of wooden house 
was readapted to local conditions and thin mud-brick walls were 
substituted for the traditional lathe, plaster and wood panels within 
the timber frame. The result of this is that the weight of the over- 
hanging wall sections and the thick layers of plaster weakened the 
structure and when the wood rotted (as in Levels VII or VI B) or was 
destroyed by fire (as in Level VI A) the upper parts of the walls, left 
unsupported, toppled down without fail. The builders of (patal 
Hiiyiik learnt their lessons, and from Level V onward they con- 
structed much thicker walls with larger bricks, greatly reduced the 
overhang and thus created structurally much sounder buildings. 
Gradually the emphasis on the timber framework was reduced and in 
Level II even the wooden posts were replaced by mud-brick pillars 
engaged against the wall. Thus internal buttresses were formed (the 
prototypes for the Early Chalcolithic ones of Hacilar and Can 
Hasan) and the framework retained only a decorative function. 

The characteristic panelling of the walls at (Jatal Hiiyiik is thus the 
result of the use of a timber frame, the elements of which are usually 
emphasized by the use of red paint. These panels in three super- 
imposed rows with the middle one at least twice as high as the two 
others, lend themselves admirably to interior decoration, such as 
reliefs or wall-paintings. In houses, as distinct from shrines, ornamen- 
tation was sparingly used and it was on the whole confined to 
the lowermost panel, varying in height from 60 to 80 cms above the 
main platform and the small platform in the north-east corner. The 

The Architecture ofQatal Hiiyiik 
much larger middle panel is but rarely painted and the uppermost 
panels are never painted. Painted decoration in houses is found in 
several varieties; plain panels in various shades of red are by far the 
most common, geometric patterns, or hands or feet are much less Plates 5, 7 

frequent. More or less naturalistic subjects are mainly found in 
shrines, but there are some exceptions: birds decorated a central 
panel in house E. VI.B.44 and concentric circles and stars covered the 
same panel in E.VI.A.66. The well preserved buildings of the lower 
levels show that painting was widely practised and the comparative 
rarity of painting in the later levels is probably the result of the poor 
state of preservation rather than of a decline in this art. 

Another form of decoration, found both in shrines and in houses 
is the use of stylized bucrania which consist of a small pillar of brick 
in the upper part of which are incorporated the horn cores and the 
frontal of a wild bull (Bos primigenius), set on the edge of the main 
platform in a number of houses, to serve probably as a symbol of 
protection. In no single house was such a bucranium found intact 
and only the scars remain, but in sanctuaries the bucrania occur in 
multiples and they are frequently found more or less intact. It would Plate 15 

appear that a single bucranium may be found in a house, whilst 
rows of bucranium are confined to shrines, where they may also be 

Evidence for still another sort of building comes from an intriguing 
wall-painting found on the north wall of a shrine in Level VI B Plate 8 

(VI.B.i). The painting, about a metre long and 71 cms in height 
covered the lowermost panel and depicts a series of human skulls 
and bones below an architectural facade. A building with four gables 
separated by five pillars is represented in red and white paint on a 
buff surface, and the grisly remains of human bodies are obviously 
meant to be inside this building, which probably represents the 
charnel house where the dead were excarnated before burial in the 
settlement (see below, p. 204). The representation of the building is 
quite clear and it would seem to bear close relation to reed structures 
of the type still built in the marshy regions round the Lake of Eber 
(north-west of Konya); as also to the representations of reed huts in 
predynastic Egyptian art, and to the magnificent reed architecture 


Qatal Hiiyuk 

of tlie Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq. On the basis of these parallels 
our wall-painting would appear to represent a series of gabled 
rooms constructed of wood and matting with tall bundles of reeds 
forming the corner posts of these presumably rectangular structures. 
The binding of the reed columns is clearly indicated and so is the 
matting -which forms the walls of the rooms. The flower-like crosses 
which crown the gables are probably stylized forms of the crossed 
bundles of reeds where they meet at the top, as in the Iraqi mudhifs 
and sarifas. The strange shapes which occupy the 'doorways' into 
the rooms may be interpreted as hangings and both the symbols on 
top of the tables (the quatrefoil) and the 'arm' on the hanging to the 
right may be intended to ward off evil. Both symbols we shall 
encounter on many other paintings. 

If our interpretation of this interesting wall-painting is even 
approximately correct, we may assume that such charnel houses 
built of reeds were erected near the site of Qatal Hiiyuk for the first 
stage in the funerary ritual. But buildings of this nature suggest that 
other and simpler forms of building than those on the mound were 
still practised by the Neolithic people of Qatal Hiiyuk, if only in the 
service of the dead. As funerary practises tend to preserve archaic 
customs, we may well ask if buildings of this nature do not belong to 
earlier traditions than those we see on the mound of C^atal Hiiyuk, 
traditions which may well antedate the use of mud-brick houses 
which we now know did not start with Level X but were already 
used a millennium or so before. Monumental reed architecture 
of the type depicted in our wall-painting may have been character- 
istic of a period when mud-brick was still unknown and such 
buildings may have been commonplace at the beginning of the 
Protoneolithic period, c. 9000 bc, if they did not already exist in 
the Upper Palaeolithic. 

Wooden houses and reed structures, vestigial remains of traditional 
architectural forms, have taken us back a long way into the still 
unexplored past of the Neolithic traditions of Qatal Hiiyuk. We 
must now return to our mound and see how these early builders 
planned their town. 



The Town Plan 

A mere glance at the plans of the various building-levels at 
Catal Hiiyiik suffices to show that its builders were well aware 
of the necessity of planning an orderly settlement, far removed from 
the disorderly and random agglomeration of freestanding huts and 
hovels characteristic of the Protoneolithic period in Palestine, the 
only region where settlements of this period have been explored 
in extenso. 

Orderliness and planning prevail everywhere; in the size of bricks, 
the standard plan of houses and shrines, the heights of panels, door- 
ways, hearths and ovens and to a great extent in the size of rooms. 
Hand and foot seem to have been the standards of measurement with 
four hands (8 cms) to a foot (c. 32 cms) ; this is most clearly seen in the 
Level VI bricks which are one hand thick, two hands wide and four 
hands long (8 x 16 X 32 cms). 

In the size of houses there are of course variations according to the 
family's need: diey range from small ones with a floor space of 11-25 
square metres to huge ones with areas of 48 square metres, but the 
most common size of houses and shrines varies from 25 to 27 square 
metres, i.e. rooms of about 6x4-5 metres. 

Houses are invariably of rectangular plan and the lines of the walls 
are as straight as the eye could make them. Storerooms and subsidiary 
chambers are arranged around the main rooms according to in- 
dividual needs and their position is of little consequence. Most appear 
to have been lower in height than the main rooms. 

Because of the habit of building one structure on top of the other, 

using the old walls as foundations a certain homogeneity of plan 

was created, but by subdividing rooms or joining others together, by 

using the site of one or more rooms for creating a courtyard or open 

pace, the plans of individual building-levels vary considerably even 


Qatal Hiiyiik 

if the general layout is to a great extent preserved. It will eventually 
be of great interest to trace the plans of the successive building-levels 
down to the original master-plan which the conservative builders of 
Qatal Hiiyuk continued to follow through numerous centuries. 

The Neolithic builders were faced with a number of problems suc|i 
as defence, communications between different quarters, terracing on 
top of an old mound, the arrangement of rectangular buildings to fit 
within the contours of an oval mound and the problems of providing 
enough light for the dense agglomeration of buildings, especially in 
the lower levels. This problem was solved by less congested planning 
which makes its appearance in Level VI A (compare the VI B and 

Figs 8, 9 VI A plans) and continued in use until the end of the settlement. 

Access to these new courtyards was gained by narrow passages, 
open to the court, probably carrying a flight of wooden stairs that 
led to the roof. Wooden ladders facilitated access from roof to roof. 
The main use of the large courtyards appears to have been for the 
disposal of rubbish and for sanitation and they also provided more 
air, light and space. They were not used for keeping domestic animals 
in, nor for domestic tasks such as cooking or baking and no burials 
ever took place in the courtyards. 

The need for defence may be the original reason for the peculiar 
way in which the people of £atal Hiiyiik constructed dwellings 
without doorways, and with sole entry through the roof. Villages 
of this type are still found in central and eastern Anatolia, in the 
Caucasus and in the mountains of western Iran. Defence against 
potential enemies and against floods are the two main reasons for 
such a construction. A solid outer wall built of stone is the alterna- 
tive, but stone was not available in the plain and floodwaters will 
eventually undermine any wall of mud-brick, however substantial. 
Moreover, the city of (^atal Hiiyiik was extensive and would need 
considerable man-power to man the entire circuit against enemy 
attack. Once the wall was breached an enemy would have been able 
to break into the city. The solution adopted at (Jatal Hiiyiik was a 
different one: the planners did not build a solid wall, but surrounded 
the site with an unbroken row of houses and storerooms, accessible 
only from the roof. Even if an enemy succeeded in breaching the 


The Town Plan 

wall lie found himself in a closed room from which the ladder had 
no doubt been removed with the defenders waiting for him on the 
roof. To take the settlement would involve close fighting from house 
to house in a maze of dwellings which would be enough to dis- 
courage the attacker. The efficacy of the defence system is obvious 
and, whatever discomfort it involved for the inhabitants of the city, 
there is no evidence for any sack or massacre during the 800 years of 
the existence of Qatal Hiiyiik, so far explored in the excavations. 
What any enemy might attempt to achieve was to set fire to the 
settlement, and so far no wells have been discovered, but it is also 
clear that the people of this city were sufficiently well equipped with 
slingshot, bow and arrow, lance and spear to keep any attacker well 
away from the foot of the walls. What caused the final abandon- 
ment of the settlement is still far from clear, but there is as yet no 
evidence for massacre and the new site across the river, where the 
inhabitants subsequently settled is nearly as large as the mound they 
had left. 

The plan of Level VI B shows two terraces ; an upper one with Fig. 9 

rooms in two rows (nos 47-32 and 52-27) and a lower terrace 
bordered by an outer range of rooms (nos 24-3 9) at the bottom of 
the mound. In this plan a great number of house-walls form a con- 
tinuous line, evidently the result of planning blocks of houses and 
shrines as a single construction. Narrow rows of houses with an 
east-west axis alternate with broader rows with a north-south axis, 
but this principle has not been carried through to its logical end and 
pleasant irregularities break the monotony of row after row of 
dwellings and shrines. In Level VI A the complex of four shrines Fig. 8 

(nos 14 and 7, 10 and 8) is well balanced with courtyards in 
between and on either side, and a similar arrangement of shrines on 
either side of a courtyard is found on the upper terrace. 

In Level VII rows of shrines alternate with rows of houses; in Fig. 10 

Level IV a system of courtyards is well developed and in Level III Fig. 6 

the main. shrine is again flanked by long narrow rooms. Finally in Fig. 5 

Level II there are two clearly marked complexes, but these are only Fig. 4 

partly excavated. Between the two is a gate passage, which is better 
preserved in the previous building-level, III. The tower-like structure 


f atal Huytik 

north of the entrance passage was filled with great masses of burnt 

mud-brick which extended all over the surrounding area, suggesting 

that it may well have been a tower of greater height than the 

buildings around it. The original gate passage was narrowed by 

additional brick walls so 

that it was easy to block in case of an attack. 

The strange structure which lies immediately in front of it is not a 

house and marks a chanj 

?e in the original plan, being constructed at a 

somewhat later date. It obstructs direct entry into the settlement and 

may have served as a g 

;uard-house and the crooked passage which 

forms a cul de sac on the left while leading to a series of storerooms 

may have been devised 

to mislead intruders. The examples quoted 

show clearly that the builders of £atal Huyiik did not construct at 

random but according 

to preconceived plans. So far no wells have 

been discovered. 

Total no 


of rooms Houses Shrines 




4 1 

4 houses to one shrine 



7 2 

3-4 houses to one shrine 



11 2 

5-6 houses to one shrine 



11? 3? 




20 11 

2-3 houses to each shrine 



3i 14 

2 houses to each shrine 



20 11 

2 houses to each shrine 



2 2 "] 

Insufficient Evidence 



1 1 



1 1 1 


In the area excavated which covers about one acre — a mere 
thirtieth of the entire surface of the mound — a great number of 
ses and shrines with their storerooms have been found, but no 
workshops or public buildings. It must be assumed that these were 
located in a different part of the mound and the quarter on the west 
slope was evidently the residential, if not the priestly quarter of the 
city. One need hardly point out that Qatal HCiyuk was not a village. 

The proportion of houses and shrines in this quarter can be tabu- 
i, as shown, but in this count the number of storerooms as 
distinct from dwellings is not included. From the table it might be 
concluded that there were more shrines in the lower building-levels, 
but two points should be borne in mind: (a) a much smaller area 
was excavated of the upper levels (V-II) and the shrines may have 
lain farther back in the unexcavated portion of the mound, and (h), 
in the badly denuded buildings of Levels IV and V the height of 
the preserved walls is often insufficient to detect such features as 
wall-paintings or plaster reliefs by which shrines are recognized. 

The Town Plan 


(^atal Hiiyiik 

I The twin-coned volcano of Hasan Dag (3,253 metres or 10,672 feet) dominates the eastern end 
of the Konya plain and in clear weather is visible from Catal Hiiyiik on the eastern horizon 84 miles 
away. Active until the second millennium bc it is probably this volcano whose eruption is recorded 
in a shrine of Catal Hiiyiik VH, c. 6200 bc (Plates 59, 60). This view is taken from the north, 
along the Aksaray-Nev^ehir road, with the Melendiz Daglari, west of Nigde on the left. Hasan 
Dag is one of the probable sources of the black obsidian used at Qatal Hiiyiik 

H View of the plain of Konya from Qatal Hiiyiik, looking east towards the isolated mass of 
volcanic rock of Kara Dag (2,271 metres or 7,451 feet) which divides the plain into two halves. 
Though not a volcano, Kara Dag may have supplied Qatal Hiiyiik with the volcanic rocks used 
for querns and mortars, pounders and pestles, being only 22 miles away 

ffl Shrine VI. 14 seen from the east with storeroom (left) and shaft (right) entrances in west wall 
on either side of a monumental relief in plaster, a stylized double goddess with upturned legs of 
which the body on the right is giving birth to a large bull's head, surmounted by a smaller one. 
Arms and heads have fallen down in the destruction of the building, but one arm is shown on 
the floor (left). Cf. Plate 22, Fig. 32. Beyond the storeroom and shaft is shrine VI.A.7 (Plate V) 

IV Shrine VLB. 8, showing the north wall with cut-out figure of a bull (top damaged by later 
building) and the east wall with small bulls' heads over the corner platform and rows of breasts, 
surmounted by scars of fallen bulls' heads above the main platform along the east wall. On the 
edges of the platforms are the scars of bull-pillars or bucrania. {Cf. Plate 14 and reconstructions, 
Figs 41, 42) 

V East wall of shrine VI.A.7, showing beyond the projecting plastered edge of post the entrance 
to the shrine (in comer). In the centre of the picture is a red-painted niche and in the foreground 
the plaster head of a ram with the imprint of a red-stained hand, supported by a pillar of earth 

VI Plaster relief of a pair of leopards from the north wall of shrine VI. A.44, partly destroyed by 
Hellenistic pits (left) or by animal burrows (centre). Placed above a red-painted panel, a couple of 
leopards is represented with the female on the left and the male on the right 

VH Plaster relief of pregnant goddess from the east wall of shrine VH.23, richly painted in red, 
orange and black on a white ground. The head, hands and feet were deliberately demolished when 
the building was filled in, probably to rob the figure of its magic potency, a practise common at 
Qatal Hiiyiik. The goddess was richly dressed and the painting continues on the wall behind, as if 
she were holding an enveloping garment around her, the prototype of the later Near Eastern 
goddesses who show themselves to their worshippers 

Vffl Grooved and painted kilim pattern from the west wall of shrine VH.21. The grooves and 
the stitching along the top, imitating the sewn edge of the textile are in white, whereas the parrels 
are alternately in black and red 


■ 25SSS3S '.'.'',.'Sl\'\' '■'■■■ ■ -•■ '------' 



9mm"'H ( ** 




The Shrines and their Reliefs 

The neolithic city of Qatal Huyiik has yielded among many 
other splendours a unique sequence of sanctuaries and shrines, 
decorated with wall-paintings, reliefs in plaster, animal heads, 
stylized bucrania and containing cult statues, which give us a vivid 
picture of Neolithic man's concern with religion and beliefs. We 
have already seen Qatal Huyiik man as a builder, we shall now also 
recognize him as an artist of no mean stature, for the arts which he 
practised were manifold. 

Out of 139 living rooms excavated at Catal Hiiyuk II-X, not less 
than forty and probably more, appear to have served Neolithic 
religion. Such cult rooms or shrines are more elaborately decorated 
than houses and they are frequently, but not always, the largest 
buildings in the quarter. In plan and construction they are no differ- 
ent from ordinary dwellings and they include all the familiar built-in 
furniture, such as platforms, benches, hearths and ovens which we 
have already recognized as an integral part of the Qatal Hiiytik 
building-tradition. Burials also are common in shrines, but there are 
some notable exceptions; none were found in the shrine of Level II 
or in the second shrine of Level III (A.III.8). 

Although the decoration of the sanctuaries strongly suggests that 
these buildings were used for cult purposes, there is no provision for 
sacrifice. There are no altars and no tables for bleeding a sacrificed 
animal such as we find in the Early Bronze Age shrines of Beyce- 
sultan. Nor do we find pits for blood or caches of bones of sacrificed 
animals, and, with the peculiar construction of the Qatal Hiiyfik 
buildings, it would be impracticable to bring animals into the 
buildings for slaughter. If animal sacrifice was practised at all the 
slaughtering must have been done elsewhere and choice pieces 
brought down to be roasted on the hearth. Our only direct evidence 


Qatal Htiyuk 

for burnt offerings consists of small deposits of charred grain pre- 
served between replasterings in red clay of a ceremonial hearth in 
the shrine of Level II. Offerings of other kinds which did not need 
burning are extremely common, and in all shrines small deposits 
of grain, tools, used and unused, pots and bone utensils, a few 
animal bones (perhaps meat offerings) bulls' horns, eggshells, gaming 
pieces, stamp-seals, in fact any acceptable gift, were found in situ 
as they had been deposited by the worshippers and preserved by the 
conflagrations in which many of these buildings had perished. The 
gifts varied from shrine to shrine: gifts of grain and legumes as well 
as stamp-seals were peculiar to the shrine in Level II; well over a 
hundred obsidian and flint weapons were found in shrine E. VI. A. 14; 
piles of aurochs' skulls, horns and scapulae filled shrine E.VLA.7; 
votive clay figures of animals and sometimes human beings were 
stuck into the walls of most of the Level VI A shrines in area E. 
Groups of figurines of animals: boar, leopard (?) stag, and cattle, 
used in a hunting ritual during which the animals were wounded 
or maimed in effigy, were found in pits near shrine E.VLB.12 
and E.IV.4. together with some intact weapons (lanceheads) and 
numerous clay balls (sling ammunition). 

Such finds allow us to gain some insight into the many rites that 
must have been performed in these Neolithic shrines. 

The main criteria for the recognition of shrines at Qatal Hiiyuk 
appear to be the following: the presence of wall-paintings of an 
elaborate nature that have obvious ritual or religious significance; 
plaster reliefs showing deities, animals or animal heads; horns of 
cattle set into benches ; rows of bucrania and the presence of groups of 
cult statues found in the main room; ex-voto figures stuck into the 
walls; human skulls set up on platforms, etc. All these features do 
not occur in normal houses and the combination of several of them 
leaves one in little doubt that the building in which they are found 
was used as a cult room or shrine. 

There are, however, a number of cases where the denuded remains 
make it extremely difficult to decide whether a building was a house 
or a shrine, and in most cases where there is doubt these are buildings 
which overlie an earlier shrine, and where a continuity of cult may 


The Shrines and their Reliefs 

be expected. That continuity of cult is a factor to be seriously con- 
sidered is clear from a whole series of superimposed shrines often 
where there is no evidence left to regard a building as a shrine, the 
structure above it shows the unmistakable characteristics of being 
one, which strongly suggests that the sanctity of the place was 
remembered. There is some further evidence which may help to 
establish shrines ; that of the eleven ochre burials found (Levels IX-III), 
six come from definite shrines, three more from buildings that have 
remains of reliefs and probably were shrines, and the two remaining 
from denuded buildings built over earlier shrines. It is therefore a 
possibility to be borne in mind that red-ochre burials only took place 
in sanctuaries. No single example has been recorded from a building 
that can definitely be described as a house. 

Of the ten burials of women with obsidian mirrors (Levels VIB- 
IV) three come from shrines, two from possible shrines that also 
have ochre burials, two others from buildings situated above shrines, 
and three from buildings denuded to floor level. Although less 
definitive than the ochre burials of women, the burials with mirrors 
also show a connection with sanctuaries, and it is possible that 
both are associated with priestesses. 

Belt-fasteners, made o£ polished bone, only accompany male 
burials in shrines and they probably served to fasten leopard skins, 
such as are shown in the wall-paintings. As it is unlikely that the 
entire population of Qatal Hiiyuk were so dressed, leopard skins 
probably denote a ceremonial garment of male priests as in dynastic 
Egypt. Carbonized remains of fur and skin, probably remains of 
leopard skins, have been found in a number of cases of male burials 
together with belt-hooks and eyes, but in others the material has not 
survived. Baked clay seals and metal are again far more common 
with burials in shrines than elsewhere but the evidence is not yet 

In a number of Level VI shrines the frontal bone and horn cores of 
wild bulls are set in a bench, but none are found in houses, unlike 
the stylized bucrania which are, on a few occasions, also found in 
ordinary dwellings. Likewise ram's heads frequently occur at the 
bottom of the post against the north wall, bull's heads are built into 


Qatal Huyiik 

Fig. 13 

walls and a stag's head with actual antlers occurs once on the north 
wall of building E.VI.B.5, possibly another shrine. 

All these features as tabulated mark certain and possible shrines 
and it is therefore quite likely that our table of shrines and houses 
on p. 70 is in need of modification, as shown below; 




Total of 





























































For those building-levels of which a sufficient number of buildings 
have been excavated (III-VII, excepting V) it would appear that for 
each two houses there was one shrine. In decoration as well as in size 
there are considerable differences between these shrines: some are 
obviously major ones and richly ornamented, and as major shrines I 
would regard VT:6i, 44, 45, 31, 14, 7, io, 8, 1; all of these have a 
north-south axis; whereas others have but a single wall-painting or 
animal head, and one cannot help wondering whether these lesser 
shrines were either subsidiary to the main ones, or the dwellings of a 
lesser order of cult personnel. Needless to say nothing is known 
about the Neolithic hierarchy, but the three groups of buildings in 
this quarter: greater shrines, lesser shrines and ordinary houses may 
all have been inhabited by various ranks in the Neolithic priesthood. 
It is not impossible that only the major shrines served the public cult, 
or were inhabited only periodically at the time of the great feasts, 
whereas the lesser shrines were the normal residence of the upper 

1 1 

r » 
2 o 

a o 

& z 


an u J3 

J 2 1 I 8 "3 1 


1 2 




A II. S 

a in.2 

1 1 1 

A III.4 

A 111-9 






E IV.6 

E IV.7 


■i V.17 

■ A 

VI A. 3 

VI A. 20 


VI \.;.j 

VI A.26 

VI A.27 


v: A..;6 

VI A.63 







m B.28 

VI B.25 

VI B.i 8 

VI B.p 

MB. 24 


V! B.4 


VII. 5 


"■, ::.<■ 



■ ::.- 

v::.i 9 

', ::.zo 

."II. 1 8 


j 3 Table of shrines and houses 
with their decoration and associated 

I 1 

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a </> 

■a 5 

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g SJ 8 w fi -4^ 

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^ S .5 3 | 1 

& S &i u 2 a< 


A Hi 





A III. 1 p| 



aih.8 I 1 




A III. 13 ] 






E IV4 


E IV.8 



■ ■ 















VI A.25 

VI ■ 


VIA. 5 rr j 


VI A.66 m 










VI .44 


■ ? 






? 1 


VI B.12 



1 ? | 

VI B.i s 

1 7 

VI B.20 



VI B.23 

? VI B.20 

? VI B. S 2 












VII. 29 




? VII.22 






IX. 1 

IX. 8 






14, 15 Reconstructions of the Second Vulture Shrine (VII.2 1) with human skulls as found. 

priesthood, the houses those of the lower. All this is mere conjecture, 
hut some such system would not be incompatible with the archaeo- 
logical record. Only more extensive excavations can possibly shed 
light on the social structure of Neolithic Qatal Huyuk. In this con- 
nection it is worth noting that there is no relation between the size 
of a building or the abundance of its decoration and the poverty or 
richness of the burial gifts of the dead below its platforms. The only 
correlation that can be made is that burials in shrines are more richly 
equipped than burials in houses. 

That wall-paintings and plaster reliefs of goddesses and animal 
heads had a ritual significance and were not purely decorative (or 
in the case of animal-heads substitutes for hunters' trophies) is 
shown very clearly by the fact that wall-paintings were covered by 
layers of whitewash after they had served their ritual function and 
that plaster-reliefs were made ritually harmless by the obliteration 
of the face, hands and feet when a shrine was abandoned. Many of the 
animal heads were similarly defaced or broken off and frequently 
only the outline survives or their original position is marked by a 
broad scar on the wall. Some of these heads were built into new walls, 
evidently to bring protection to the building. Only in shrines 
destroyed by a sudden fire have many plaster reliefs survived more or 

Left, west and north ivalls, right, north and east walls. See Plates 30, 47, VIII 

less intact, but here the destruction has again obliterated the faces of 
the goddess reliefs. Thick layers of unburnt plaster cover the burnt 
hunting scene in shrine A.III.i and the paintings of abandoned shrine 
A.III. 8 "were similarly treated. A further indication of the sacredness 
of the plaster reliefs is the small child's hand-imprint on the body of the 
goddess in shrine E.VII.23 and larger hands on the bull's and ram's 
heads in shrine E.VI.A.7. It seems that worshippers dipped a hand in 
red paint and left an imprint on the sacred image. The numerous 
panels with human hands in shrines (and sometimes houses) bear 
witness to similar practices on a large scale. Sometimes hands are 
found not on the bull's head, but around it (shrine E.VI.B.10.), 
and in one case there is an imprint of a child's foot (house.E.VI.63). 
If any further proof is needed of the sacred character of the Qatal 
Hiiyuk shrines, the unusual disposal of the body of a prematurely 
born child may here conveniently be mentioned. In shrine E. VI. A. 14 
was found a brick which broke and displayed the imprint of a bag. 
In it and carefully wrapped in very fine cloth were the ochre stained 
bones of a baby accompanied by two funeral gifts : a tiny bit of 
bright shell and a small chip of obsidian. This parcel evidently 
represents some hapless woman's offering to the Shrine of the Twin 
Goddess; more normal is the burial of a small child below the floor. 

Plate V 

Plate 7 


Qatal Hiiyiik 

Even stranger is the collection of four skulls found on the floor of 
Figs 14, 15 shrine E.VII.21. One of these lay in a basket below the bull's head on 

the west wall; a second lay below the bull's head in the centre of 
the east wall and two others were perched on the corner platform 
below the vulture painting. One gains the impression that these 
skulls were used in a funerary ritual, but as the graves in this shrine 
have not yet been excavated one cannot tell whether the skulls 
belonged to any of the burials in the shrine. In only one other build- 
ing (E.V.6) was a single human skull found, in this case on the north- 
west platform. The presence of skulls in these buildings reminds one 
of the two skulls found propped up on stones on virgin soil in the 
aceramic village of Hacilar. Two others were found near hearths 
in later layers of the same village where no burials of the dead have 
been found. Some ancestor cult may perhaps have been practised at 
aceramic Hacilar, where it is considerably earlier than at (Jatal 

Religious Imagery 

Shrines at Qatal Hiiyiik were decorated with wall-paintings or 
plaster reliefs, or both. Wall-painting was practised even before 
Level X, for a painted fragment of a doorway was found in debris 
on which a house of Level X was erected. Aceramic Hacilar also 
knew the art of painting floors and walls around 7000 bc. The 
custom remained in use at Qatal Hiiyiik at least as late as Level II, 
destroyed c. 5700 bc, but from this latest phase only the lower panels 
with plain red paint survive. 

Plaster reliefs are just as ancient at the site and appear in the simple 
form of animal heads in a shrine of Level X, c. 6500 bc. Cut-out 
figures in sunk relief are first found in Level IX (in the form of heads) 
and entire animals cut out of the thick wall-plaster appear in Levels 
VII, VI B and VI A, sometimes combined with partial modelling of 
horns and eyes. Animals in low relief are found in Level VI B, 
breasts and horns from Level VII onwards and goddesses also make 
their first appearance in this level. Plaster reliefs were still in use in 
Level V, judging by a number of fragments in situ on the walls, but 


20, 30 Among wall-paintings at £atal Hiiyiik those imitating kilims, i.e. woven woollen rugs, are 
particularly common and are easily recognized by their intricate geometric ornament, their stitched 
borders and many colours. One of the most splendid examples, from the east wall of shrine VI.B.i, 
above, is painted in orange red, light buff, white, grey and black and contains numerous flower 
symbols. Another, below , in red and black from the north wall of shrine VII.21, combines painting 
with grooves and dots, left white, a style of decoration peculiar to Levels VII and VIII 

31, 32 Of the two shrines of building-level 01, one (A.III.8) is entirely decorated with patterns 
derived from kilims and textiles. A section of the latest kilim pattern in red, white and grey cover- 
ing part of the north wall is shown in the copy, above, with fragments of earlier paintings showing 
underneath to the right. The continuation of this kilim pattern around the north-east comer of the 
shrine with only the triangles finished is shown in the original, below 

33, 34 On the west wall of this same shrine (A.III.8) there were two main panels of decoration of 
which the northern formed the continuation of that shown in Plate 3 1. The southern, shown in the 
copy, above, and in the original, below, contained not less than four superimposed phases of painting : 
from top to bottom; the unfinished kilim pattern with triangles; the bold rows of quatrefoils; the 
finer quartrefoils and the step patterns. Each was separated from the other by a layer of white 

35, 36 Besides patterns that are obviously bor- 
rowed from textiles there are others, above, that 
appear to derive from leopard skins with the 
familiar spots (cf. Plate 18). Such paintings were 
only found on the south wall of shrine VI.B.I. A 
different pattern, below, from the edge of the 
doorway in the north wall of shrine VII. 8 (see 
Plate 48) has a row of orange flowers and a mauve 
pattern reminiscent of fine basketry or matting 


37, 38 Shrine VI.A.50 was decorated with another very fine kilini pattern, delicately executed in 
red, black and white on buff. Even its border is preserved. It shows close resemblances to the kilim 
pattern of Plate 29, which is a little earlier in date. Symbols include horns, flowers and even a small 
hand. Above is a detail of the burnt painting, with a copy, below 

:y , . , \ . 


V; . 





39, 40 The east wall of shrine VI.A.66, the smallest found, had a large bull's head with red mouth, 
ears and hair, but no actual horns, set above the bench. North of it was a panel of painting with 
elaborate symbols, painted in orange, white and mauve and a group of small red figures, including a 
woman, an archer and several goddesses in the posture of childbirth with raised arms and legs. A 
detail of the upper right portion of this panel in its original state is shown above, and a copy of the 
entire panel below 

4i, 42 Two superimposed paintings, of which the later, above, is only partly preserved, but the 
lower, below, more or less complete, rose above a lower panel with white hands left in reserve on a 
red ground above the central platform of shrine VI.B.8. Two rows of four-fingered black and red, 
grey and pink hands, the upper row encased in ovals, the lower alternately vertical or horizontal, 
frame a red honeycomb pattern. On this pattern is depicted, in both paintings, insects and grubs on 
a field of stylized flowers, above. In the lower painting the cells are closed on the left and open up 
in the centre ; the painting might depict the life cycle of the bee 




X ^\ 



,-W*A»«"m«— ,j 

43-45 Around the north-west corner of shrine VII. 8 there is an earlier panel of red and black hands 
above, (a copy above), and red hands below, (original helow), framing a set of patterns that probably 
represent nets painted in red. Opposite is a gruesome scene of an enormous vulture attacking two 
small headless human figures, one of winch is outstretched, the other crouched, like the dead, on its 
left side. This scene, from the central panel of the east wall, is part of a vast painting that formed the 
principle decoration of the earliest phase of shrine VII. 8. Other scenes are shown in Plates 48, 49 

4-6, 47 Shrine VIII. 8, the predecessor of the Vul- 
ture Shrine, VII. 8, similarly contained a painting 
of black -vultures, unfortunately badly damaged, 
above. Here the scene is different for though a 
headless body lies between the two birds of prey, 
a man armed with a sling is actually warding off 
their attacks. Yet a third building, the Second 
Vulture Shrine, Vll.21, contained scenes of this 
sort on its north wall. Between two of these 
creatures, provided with human legs, and perhaps 
priestesses or priests in disguise, lies another head- 
less corpse, below, but in a position different from 
the others 



3S #' 

'.- ^- 




K .*;- 

4$, 49 Although, somewhat smaller in size, not less than five vultures pecking at headless corpses 
graced the north wall of shrine VII. 8, where they were later covered by the cut-out figure of the 
black bull (Plate 12). These scenes probably indicate that the people of £atal Hiiytik exposed their 
dead to the vultures for the purpose of excar nation. A detail is shown above and a copy of the whole 
scene below 

m. — — . 


50, 51 Detail of a dead man's 
head, above, from the painting of 
funeral rite (?) below, on the 
south end of the east wall of 
shrine E.IV.i., the worst pre- 
served of all shrines. The black- 
haired and bearded head with 
closed eyes, red smeared brow 
and gaping mouth may have 
been carried by a figure of which 
only the torso is preserved 


52, 53 Detail of a small white 
'Goddess', below, from the contin- 
uation of the wall-painting (Plate 
51) on the east wall of shrine 
E.IV.i. Above, a fragmentary paint- 
ing with long-headed, running 
figures and a bull (?) partly obscured 
by remains of overpainting from the 
central post on the north wall of 
building A.IV.i 

54, 55 Monochrome red painting of a deer hunt, above, from the truncated south wall of the ante- 
chamber to shrine A.III.i. Six male figures pursue a herd of Red Deer (Ceruus elaphus), one of 
which has been brought to its knees by two men, below, and turns its head towards its attackers 
while the others attempt to escape 






:.#":-■ a 

56, 57 Monochrome red painting of a deer hunt from the north wall of room A.HI.13. A stag and 
its young are pursued by an archer accompanied by his dog, one of the earliest representations of 
this domestic animal. The archer has just released his arrow 

58 Tentative reconstruction of a stag's head, painted in red, black and white on the north side of 
the niche in the east wall of shrine A.III.i 

The Shrines and their Reliefs 

none have been found in Levels IV-I and it may be assumed that tliis 
method of decoration had gone out of use. 

Benches decorated with horns, which may be interpreted as a 

ized form of a row of bulls' heads placed one behind the other 

are confined to Levels VI B and VI A, but the simpler form, the 

bucranium, first found in Level VII, continued in use till the end of 

Level II. 

In plaster reliefs goddesses appear solely in anthropomorphic form 

and the place of the male is taken by bulls and rams, a more im- 

rrriiive exponent of male fertility. Only the bull, the stag and the 

eopard occur in full outline as well as in the form of heads, whereas 

lie ram is never fully shown, and is simply represented by ram's 

Stags, boar and leopards are rare and may be regarded as 

;butes of the deities, rather than as symbols of the god and 

zz^icss themselves. In the earlier animal heads the horns are 

Bually modelled in clay and plaster, but from Level VII onwards the 

the actual horn cores and frontal bones of dead animals is 

on a great scale in Levels VI B and VI A. So far other 

animals, such as vultures, other birds or dogs are only found in the 

■^■:i_-paintings or carved in stone. Snake and goat are conspicuous 

"by their absence. 

Plaster reliefs are frequently painted and the two techniques are 
rr-.zzzLziy complementary. Whereas the animal heads are solid and 
oolded in clay covered with plaster, the large figures of goddesses 
rere made of plaster moulded on bundles of reeds, the imprint of 
lieh is frequently preserved, or on wooden posts, preserved by 
opsonization. Many animal-heads were likewise set in super- 
imposed rows on posts (especially in Level VII) or they were fixed 
:he lower end of a post. In other cases single horns were used 
i attach the animal head to the wall. Whereas arhmal bones, horns, 
were used for attachment and horn cores were used to enhance 
naturalistic representation of the animal, the lower jaws of gigantic 
okl boar were stuck in rows into the walls of certain shrines, and 
is -well as the skulls of vultures, foxes and weasels, found in the 
rqpesentations of breasts, evidently have a ritual and symbolic 
ssiiir.g ot their own. They serve no technical function. 


Qatal Hilyuk 




16 Schematic table of 
the arrangement of the 
decoration in the main 
shrines ofLevelsX-VIA 




Bucranium (BullPillar) 
^Dr Bench with inserted horns r 
V Bull's head *-* 

Ram's head 






The Shrines and their Reliefs 

















Goddess relief 
Cutout figure 


Red panel 
Waif -painting 


Qatal Huyiik 
Fig. 16 

Fig. iy 

The diagrammatic table on pages 102-3 shows the arrangement of 
the decoration in the best preserved twenty-eight shrines of Levels 
X-VIA. It appears that the decoration of shrines followed certain 
rules; scenes dealing with death are always placed on the east and 
north walls, below which the dead were buried. Scenes dealing with 
birth occupy the opposite west wall and bulls are found only on the 
north wall facing the Taurus Mountains, perhaps not a coincidence. 
Animal heads associated with red painted niches are always on the 
east wall but goddesses and bull and ram heads have no special place 
and may occur on any wall. It is, however, rare for the south wall 
(the kitchen end of the shrine) to be decorated, although there are a 
few cases where this happened. 

In the earliest shrine decorated with plaster reliefs (X.i), two large 
bull's heads with enormous but clumsily moulded horns are placed 
on the north and east wall. The first is fixed on a wooden post and 
flanked by a doorway and a shallow niche whereas the second has its 
face painted red. Immediately above it are two small (rams'?) heads 
and towards the north-east corner there are two smaller bulls' heads 
without prominent horns. On the southernmost panel of the east 
wall there is another bull's head with shorter horns and a small head, 
possibly a ram's with a niche above it. Although this earliest shrine 
already foreshadows the much more monumental ones of Levels 

1 7 Reconstruction of the earliest shrine in Level X (X. 1) 

\ktrth wall of shrine IX.8 with animal heads cut in plaster 

and VI, the execution of the work is still somewhat clumsy and 

system of panelling is still undeveloped. This single shrine 

d not be taken as typical of the period, for even in Level VII, 

have another (VII. 3 5) which closely resembles it in workman- 

i$». Shrine IX.8, next in. chronological order shows the earliest 

inple of animal heads, a feline, probably a leopard and a bull, 

has lost one horn, cut deep into the plaster of the north wall, 

partly destroying the earlier painting of a large black bull. 

are no traces of paint on either of these two animal-heads. A 

fflccond shrine (IX. 1) had a panel on the west wall with a large bull's 

ad on the right and a smaller (ram's?) head on the left as well as 

ill-paintings. This building shows well developed panelling and 

s one of the few that had a red painted platform and a small hearth 

in it. 




Fig. 21 

7 ig. 18 

Plate 11 

Shrines of Level VII 

l the restricted area in which the buildings of Level VIII were 

oocavated no shrines with plaster reliefs were found, but painting 

was well established. In Level VII, however, plaster reliefs were 

bond in not less than ten shrines. A small shrine (VII.9) had both its 

walls covered with animal heads, fixed to wooden posts or to 

wall in between. Three bulls' heads were placed on the east wall 

Figs 19, 20 


lg East wall of shrine VJI.g, restored 

Fig. 21 

%. *5 


along the line of a horizontal wooden beam whilst a fine hull's head 
with upturned horns graced the central panel of the west wall 
between two vertical posts. On the northern wall a single head with 
two pairs of wavy horns was fixed and the southern posts bore 
three superimposed heads, each with a pair of curling horns. It seems 
most likely that these are bulls' heads in spite of the curving horns 
which might at first sight suggest the horns of rams. Parallels with 
later representations of bull's heads on other west walls, the excessive 
length of the horns and the small curving horns of the actual rams 
found at Qatal Hiiyiik favour this view. 

Much smaller bulls' heads are found in shrine VII.35. As in the 
buildings previously described, the horns are modelled in clay, but 
actual ram's horns are introduced into a small head on the east wall. 
One large bull's head spans the main panel of the north wall; two 
small ones are found beside it on the same wall and a larger bull's 
head appears below a red painted niche on the east wall. Next to this 
niche a pair of woman's breasts appear above the animal's right horn 
and a second pair, placed vertically, appear above the ram's head. 
From the open nipples protruded the teeth of a fox and a weasel's 
skull respectively which were incorporated in this pair of breasts. 
The east wall of shrine VII.21 combines the same symbolism, but on 
a much grander scale. A large ram's head with actual horns and 
painted with a fine meander pattern is placed beneath a bold clay 


3a West wall of shrine VIL9, restored 

om from which a single breast protrudes. Out of the open breast 
s$>rings the lower jaw of a gigantic boar with formidable tusks and its 
position is similar to that in shrine VIL35. The central panel of this 
itrine is dominated by a large bull's head with actual horns surmount- 
ing a red-painted niche and a row of six stylized breasts. Asymmetric- 
ly surrounding the bull's head are three small ram's heads with 
ictoal horns. A further breast, but with open nipple, occurs on the 
northernmost panel of the east wall and another is found on the 

forth and east walls oj shrine VII.35, restored 

(^atal Hiiyuk 
Fig. 14 

Fig. 22 

opposite wall. The main feature of the west wall, however, is a 
huge bull's head with moulded nostrils and mouth set in a red- 
painted muzzle. A geometric pattern is painted on the head, the ears 
are red and red bands surround the horns, -which are of gigantic size. 
Though fallen and crushed by crumbling masonry, one of the horn 
cores could still be measured and was over a metre in length. A 
niche for libations, semi-circular in shape, was set into the west wall 
and was matched to the right by a grooved and painted panel (in 
white, black and red) representing a kilim (a thin woven rug). 
The north wall of this building was decorated with a similar panel 
and with wall-paintings of vultures attacking headless corpses. 
A doorway, placed well above the level of the floor interrupted 
the wall-paintings and there may have been some short wooden 
steps. It was in this building that the series of human skulls, already 
referred to (p. 84), were found, and, with its splendid and impressive 
decoration, it is evidently one of the major shrines of Level VII. 

Hardly less remarkable is a series of three shrines (VIL10.8 and 1) 
that He in a row a little farther south. The first of these (VII. 10) is 
decorated only with plaster reliefs, and, unlike the other two, had no 
wall-paintings. At the bottom of the central post along the north 

22 North and east walls of shrine VII. 10, restored. See Plates 10, 17 

The Shrines and their Reliefs 

c construction of the west and south walls of shrine VII. l with -plaster reliefs of twin goddesses 
mid bulls' heads 

wall was placed a large animal head with a single and rather short 
plaster horn. The plaster to the right was well preserved, so that it 
Id be established that an animal with only one horn was por- 
■Bayed. The face was demolished, but a comparison with the build- 
ing immediately above (in Level VI B) where the post ended in a 
well preserved ram's head with two pairs of horns, may suggest that 
sexe also a ram was represented. To the left (west) of this ram's head 
die plaster was cut into an animal silhouette to which a little model- 
fingof the head was added. Unfortunately the upper part was broken, 
bm what remains suggests the outline of a stag's head. In the north- 
east corner a much better preserved representation of a stag on a 
Dck was found. Here also touches of modelling were added to the 
nc-out silhouette of the animal, which is extremely lively arid 
ralisticahy observed. The motif of a stag turning its head appears 
Ere for the first time, but is again found in the paintings of deer- 
rants in the shrine of Level III and in the pottery figure of a doe from 

Plate 10 

Plate 17 

Plates 55, 61 

(Jatal Huyuk 

a house in Hacilar VI. Stags are comparatively rare in the art of 
Qatal Hiiyuk, but a fine antler of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) in- 
corporated into a plaster animal head decorated the north wall of a 
probable shrine (VLB. 5). 

The east wall of shrine VII. 10 showed another cut-out relief; 
a vast bull's head, seen like most of the animals in this building, in 
profile. In front of the head is a shallow niche and the boldly curving 
horn, the eye and a few other features are enhanced by modelling in 
plaster. The reconstruction drawing shows these animals as they 
probably were originally, but as the result of a rough brick fill and 
the superimposed weight of another burnt shrine (VI. 10) they have 
been somewhat flattened out. 
Very similar to the large bull's head in shrine VII. 10 is a huge bull 
Fig. 23 on the west and south wall of shrine VII. 1. The entire outline of the 

animal's back and head is carved in the plaster, but the feet and 
belly are not indicated. The silhouette of the head is again obtained 
by cutting a shallow niche in front of it and the eye and horn are 
modelled in plaster. The head of the animal has been pressed down 
considerably so that the figure looks disjointed, for the entire south 
wall has been compressed by the weight of later buildings. The bull 
turns its back to another smaller horned animal, possibly a cow, 
which occupies the other side of the west wall and was made in the 
same technique. It too has no legs and seems to stand on a red-painted 
pedestal. When first found the figure still bore traces of an overall 
blue paint, and this is the only case of the use of blue paint on walls 
so far. Between these two animals a battered bull's head was 
placed below the remains of a small goddess figure, of which only 
the right arm, leg and breast were preserved, but the outline of the 
remainder of the body could still be partly traced on the plaster. The 
asymmetrical position of this figure was puzzling at first until it was 
realized that two such figures would make a balanced composition. 
At the point where the second figure should have been the plaster 
had been stripped off the wall, probably at the time when the 
building was condemned and filled in. Had there been only a single 
figure, then there is no reason for the plain plaster not to have sur- 
vived, as it has done in every other building. Twin goddess figures 

.^construction of the north and east walls oj shrine VII. 1 with wall-paintings of textiles 

are by no means rare and in at least two other neighbouring shrines 
(VII.8 and VLB. 12) the existence of such a group is either certain or 
highly probable. The east and north wall of this shrine were orna- 
mented with textile patterns but on either side of the main post 
plaster reliefs of breast and horn were found. 

Between the two shrines just described there lay another (VII. 8). 
:arliest decoration consisted of one enormous panel of vultures 
1*8 metres high and extending over the greater part of the north and 
die entire east wall. At the end of its existence, after a hundred layers 
of white plaster had almost obliterated the existence of the vulture 
painting, a fine bull was cut into the thick plaster of the north wall, 
and painted black. As found its head was unfortunately missing, but 
it is seen advancing towards the doorway leading to the entrance 
corridor. Red-painted panels are found below the bull over two 
platforms on the edge of which once stood a big bucranium, the 
est of its type. More red panels continued beyond the doorway 
die jambs of which at one stage were gaily painted with rosettes. 

Fig. 24 

Plate 12 

Fig. 25 


Qatm Hiiyiik 

Above the red panels there were paintings with hands and in the 
middle of the west wall there lay again as in shrines VII. i and VT.B.8 
(immediately above it) a stylized bull's head. What particularly 
attracted our attention was the strange way in which the plaster of 
the wall had been cut, late in the life-span of the shrine. Symmetric- 
ally placed above the bull's head were the rough outlines of two 
felines, presumably leopards, face to face. Like the cow in shrine 
VH.I next door, these stood on pedestals and directly above them all 
the plaster had been broken off the wall, as if something had been 
removed when the shrine was abandoned and filled in. That a rela- 
tionship existed between the plaster reliefs in shrine VII. i and the 
potentially domesticable bull and cow and the wild leopards in its 
neighbour soon became evident. Moreover, something had been 
removed from the west wall in both buildings and a comparison 
with a group of old and broken statuettes in blue and brown lime- 
stone, found in shrine, which showed two goddesses 
standing behind leopards and a boy riding a leopard displayed the 

25 North and east walls of shrine VII.8 as found. See Plates 12, 36 


2 6 Restoratmi of the north and east walls of shrine VII. 8 See Plates 12, 36 

same outline of the wild animals as found in the shrine. It is therefore 
quite probable that twin goddesses, like those found in shrine VII. 1, 
were originally placed on this west wall, as is shown in the reconstruc- 
tion drawing. It is moreover likely that the stone statuettes were 
originally part of the cult images of this shrine, from which they, 
like the plaster reliefs, were removed when the building was 

The next shrine of Level VII (VH.23) was relatively simple, but 
contained a very fine painted plaster relief of a pregnant goddess, 
placed on the east "wall. In the later phases the goddess was painted 
white, but on one of the numerous white layers the small red hand 
of a child was painted on the goddess's breast. In her original form 
she had been clothed in a gaudily painted dress with patterns in red, 
black and orange and the dress extended like a veil behind her 
between the upturned arms and legs. She was shown as clearly 
pregnant and her condition was emphasized by the use of concentric 

Fig, 26 

Plate VII 


Qatal Hiiyuk 

Ted circles. Face, hands and feet had been broken when the shrine 
was deserted and filled in. No other plaster reliefs or wall-paintings 
other than red panels marred the simple serenity of this shrine 
dedicated to the goddess. 

Shrine VII.29 had two bulls' heads, with red-painted ears on the 
east wall and a red-painted niche next to the larger lower head. 

Shrine VH.45 was abandoned and filled in with broken brick and 
plaster after its west wall had collapsed. In the middle of the north 
wall, set between two red-painted posts and above a red panel, sat the 

Plate 25; Fig. 27 large figure of a goddess of which only the lower portion had sur- 

vived. Below many layers of white plaster there were red vertical 
stripes on the legs, which show that this figure also once had a 
painted dress. The position of the goddess, framed by posts, gives her 
the appearance of coming through a door to show herself to the 
worshippers. The large panel on her left was plain and no traces of 
decoration survive on the greater part of the east wall, which, fairly 
late in the occupation of the shrine, was cut into the silhouette of 

Plate 13 a gigantic boar's head. This is very similar to the boar figures of 

clay which have been found in Level VI B. A scar on the plaster 
nearest the central post may suggest a plastically rendered horn; 
another, surrounded by a circle of red paint, the presence of a small 
animal head. This is one of the shrines where the bench was painted 

p l ate 2 4 Shrine VII. 3 1 was one of the best preserved buildings on the 

site even though it had lost the plaster of its entire north and more 
than half of the east wall. It had been abandoned and filled in 
after its reliefs had been defaced. Nevertheless it stood to a height 
of 2 metres, with one of the capitals of the wooden posts preserved 

Fi 2- 28 intact. On entering the shrine through a doorway in the north wall 

one faced not less than four panels decorated with reliefs; two on the 
west wall, one on the south wall (the second panel was occupied by 
the wooden ladder) and one more on the southernmost panel of the 
east wall. The central panel on this wall, which frequently bears 
important reliefs, was destroyed down to the lowermost red panel. 
The first composition consisted of the familiar goddess-figure 
modelled in bold relief, the hands and feet of which appear to have 



2j Restoration of the north and east walls of shrine VII.45 with reliefs 

been made separately and inserted into now empty sockets. As is 
normal at Qatal Hiiyuk, there is no indication of sex, but the navel 
was always shown. Above the head two holes in the plaster on either 
side of a slight knob indicate perhaps the former existence of a head- 
dress or, equally possible, they were used to fix a hanging over the 
sacred figure of the divinity. Above her left hand a small bull's head 
is shown, the ears of which had been painted red. The head also was 
defaced. Near her right hand the horn of a bull modelled in clay is 
seen and this is matched by a second on the other side of the central 
post, which had been removed. Evidently these belong to a bull's 
head modelled on the post, as in so many shrines of Level VII. 
Irie second panel was filled with five bull's heads of varying sizes, 
all smashed when the building was deserted, but easily recognizable 
from horns and scars. Beyond the corner post another figure of a 
goddess was placed next to a horizontal bar and below her is a shallow 

Fig. 28 

Fig. 28 


28 West and south-west 
walls of shrine VII. 31 
with the animal heads 
restored. See Plate 24 

Fig. 29 

niche. She also had lost her head, but the entire outline is preserved 
which suggests a hair-style with two small horns, very like that 
fashionable in the fourteenth century ad. There were faded traces of 
paint on this figure, especially round the neck, which suggests a 
painted garment, but too little plaster survived to reconstruct its 
pattern. No traces of paint were found on the first figure, nor on the 
third and most remarkable one on the east wall. This goddess is 

29 East wall of shrine VII.31. The decoration of the central panel is lost but the panel to the right 
shows the goddess, her hair streaming out behind her in the ivind, obviously in rapid motion 

The Shrines and their Reliefs 

shown with her head and body in profile, her long locks floating 
behind her in the wind. Arms and legs are outstretched and fore- 
shortened, thus strengthening the impression of swift motion. The 
goddess appears to be running, dancing or whirling and above her 
right arm there originally was something, now broken, outlined in 
orange red paint. The destruction of the central panel may have 
deprived us of the object or figure to which she is seen advancing. 
Perhaps the clue to this lies in the building underneath. This will be 
explored when the excavations are resumed. 

Shrines of Levels VI B and VI A 

The traditional use of plaster reliefs in shrines, already fully developed 
in Level VII, reached its climax in Levels VI B and VI A, when we 
find truly monumental compositions up to 4 metres in height (shrine 

A number of shrines of Level VI B are very simple in their decora- 
tion. Shrine VLB. 12 bore reliefs of the twin goddess on its north 
wall and a third (animal head?) above the main platform. Shrine 
VLB. 1 5 had two bull's heads on the south wall, one set in a recess, 
the other in a side room, whilst wall-paintings decorated the space 
above the main platform. Shrine VT.B.20 had a goddess on the south 
wall, but only the scar of attachment was preserved. A stag's head 
and a wall-painting of textile design formed the only decoration of 
shrine VLB. 5; a horn and breast (?) and numerous superimposed 
wall-paintings that of shrine VI.B.i, unless the destroyed west wall 
kad been originally decorated with one or more goddesses like all its 
neighbours. Shrine VI.B.7, which has also lost its west wall, had a 
large goddess with horizontal arms and no legs, but from the lower 
part of her body projected a huge red painted bull's head similar to 
the Twin Goddess in shrine VLB. 14 with which it was connected 
hrough a single entrance-shaft, thus forming a double shrine. 
Goddess and bull's head suffered severe damage in a fire at the end of 
Level VI B and were covered by a new wall in Level VI A. 

In the northern part of the excavated area there were two splendid 
irines VI B and A.61 ; and VI B and A.44. The first is one of 

Fig. 38 



30 East and south walls of shrine Vl.61 with hucrania and horn cores set in a bench 

Plates 15, 16; Fig. 30 the largest found and presented a terrific spectacle of bucrania; 

two placed on trie male corner-platform and a third beyond a care- 
fully modelled bench from "which six sets of aurochs horn-cores 
projected with a seventh raised at the end like a bucranium. The 
impression left by these remains is still that of tremendous male 
power and it may be surmised that this was a shrine devoted to the 
cult of the male deity. The east wall was preserved only up to a red 
painted groove, which marks the line of a horizontal wooden beam. 
It seems unlikely that the central panels would have been left plain 
and one would expect at least one large bull's head there (as in shrines 
VLB. 10 and 14). The other walls are much better preserved but 
bore no reliefs or wall-paintings. Like many other shrines of Level 
VI B it remained in use during the next period at the end of which it 
was burnt. 

Near to this shrine was another (VI.44), built in Level VI B and 
occupied throughout this level and the next. Whereas in many 
buildings the goddess is shown in person, her presence is here ex- 
Plates 18, 20; Fig. 31 pressed in a life-size plaster relief of her attributes, a pair of 

leopards. These decorate the main panel on the north wall framed by 
two wooden plastered posts with numerous phases of painting, 
plain red or white or with a textile design in grey, cream and red. 
The leopards are placed on the middle panel above a plain red panel 

31 North and east walls of the 
Leopard Shrine (VI.B.44) with 
a screen to the left, and a venti- 
lation shaft and doorway to a 
storeroom on the right. See 
Plates 18-21 

and they are each about a metre long. They face each other with 
raised tails ; a short fat female on the left, a more slender male on the 
right. In the latest phases these were whitewashed and bore no 
designs and they were rather clumsy in shape as the result of repeated 
replastering. When the layers of white plaster were stripped off one 
by one the animals regained their original shape and painted decora- 
tion began to appear, which had been repeated over and over again. 
The later phases of painting showed lemon-coloured animals 
covered with black spots, and the line of the claws and the end of the 
tail, as well as the mouth, were accentuated by pink stripes. The 
animals were outlined by black dashes. There were a great many 
layers of this sort of decoration, all more or less partially preserved 
and affected by the fire which had consumed this building. On one of 
the tails, broken by a deep Hellenistic pit, an earlier form of painting 
could be seen and the leopards "were cleaned down to the best 
preserved layer. They changed their spots into what looked like black 
rosettes placed in rows on the white bodies, legs and tails, and two 
rosettes formed their eyes. The mouth was red, claws and the tip of 
the tail being outlined in bright red paint. This form of decoration 
"was also repeated at least twenty times and the fine three- or four- 
petalled rosettes are indeed a very close rendering of actual spots on 
leopards. The left-hand leopard, badly cracked and weakened by the 

Plates 20, 21 

Pktes 18, 19, VI 


Qatai Hiiyuk 

water that had seeped into the Hellenistic pit, broke upon removal 
and we were thus able to remove some more layers of paint. This 
showed that the earliest leopards were considerably smaller and 
had black claws and their rosettes were much larger and fewer than 
in the later paintings. There appear to have been about forty layers 
of painting on them. 

The leopards have now been reconstituted in the Ankara Archaeo- 
logical Museum. On the edge of the platform in front of the leopards 
a red-painted bull's head was found crushed in its fall. It cannot 
have fallen from the south wall which was preserved and showed no 
scars of attachment, nor is it likely that it had been fixed on the screen 
of sticks and plaster which divided the kitchen end of the shrine from 
the main room. One can only surmize that it could have been placed 
in the middle of the north wall, well above the leopards, but this is 
by no means certain. There were also the remains of a bucranium, 
but again in the absence of any mark of attachment on the platform, 

32 Restoration of the 
west wall of shrine VI. 14 
with a monumental relief 
a Twin Goddess. The 
left doorway leads to a 
granary, the right to a 
lightshafi. See Plates 
22, III 

g Restoration of the east and south walls of shrine VI. 14 with bucrania, horn cores on a bench 
nd bulls' and rams' heads modelled in relief. A ladder, the normal means of entry, is on the right 

its original position is uncertain, and may only appear when tne 
platform is stripped of its plaster. A rich collection of stone statuettes, 
grain offerings and stalactites was found in this room (see pp. 202-3). 
The well preserved shrine VLB and A. 14, the eastern member of 
a. twin shrine (14 and 7), offers certain analogies to shrine VI.61 
in having three bucrania and a bench with three sets of horn cores, 
die easternmost of which is likewise raised above the others. Three 
animal heads with actual horns were found on the east wall; a large 
boll's head above the horizontal beam and two rams' heads set at 
different heights on the flanking panels. Another was set within a 
frame on the south wall beyond the ladder and above a deep recess, 
with, a sinuous outline reminiscent of the horns of bulls in plaster 
reliefs of Level VII. It is, however, the west wall which bore a 
strange and monumental relief, 2-2 metres in height and therefore 
among the largest yet found at Qatal Hiiyuk. Although damaged by 
file and partly collapsed it can be restored on paper as a stylized twin 

Figs 32, 33 
Plate III 

Figs 22, 23 


C^atal Hiiyuh 

figure of a goddess with two heads and bodies, but with a single pair 
of arms and upturned legs. The bodies were modelled on two vertical 
wooden posts and the plaster edges were painted red. From the 
abdomen of the right-hand body an enormous bull's head, nearly 
6 1 cms in width, with powerful horns protruded. On top of it a 

Plate 22 smaller head -was modelled. Not less than a hundred layers of plaster 

covered the heads, out of which at least six or seven were painted. 
In the latest phase (VI.A) the muzzles have lost their nostrils and 
mouth and the painting is confined to a red muzzle, red ears and 
rings round the horns. In the earlier layers a hand placed over the 
mouth is painted with the fingers spread out over the animal's nose. 
In these twin shrines the same subject is represented; the birth of the 
bull god from the body of the goddess, but whereas in shrine VI.B.7 
there is only one goddess, here are two of which only one is giving 
birth. The shoulder and part of one head were found crushed in the 
debris of the shrine (the other shoulder had lost the second head), 
but it appears that the head was flat and if any features were shown 
they must have been executed in paint. The heads may have been 
very similar to those of the contemporary white marble statuette of 

Plate 70 a twin goddess found in shrine VI.A. 10. 

A row of three bull's heads, separated by small knobs (stylized 

Plate IV; Figs 34, 35 breasts?) and one ram's head, all richly painted, decorated the central 

and south panels of the east wall of shrine VLB. 8. Many of the 

Fig. 36 patterns found on these heads (thirteen layers of paint were recorded) 

are identical with those on the bulls' heads in shrine VI. 14. Here 
also three sets of horn cores were set into the bench, with the eastern- 
most raised above the others. The main decoration of the east wall 
consisted of several layers of fine waU-paintings (see p. 162) but the 

Plate 14 most striking feature of the room was a great bull sunk in the plaster 

of the north wall. This was replastered over and over again and was 
sometimes red, sometimes white. It occupied exactly the same 
position as its predecessor, the black bull in shrine VII. 8, which 
lies immediately below this building. The continuity in cult, so 
characteristic of Qatal Hiiyuk, could hardly be illustrated better. A 
black bull occurred on the north wall in Level IX, vultures in Levels 
VIII and early VII; a black bull in late VII and in VI B and A; and 


34 Earliest phase of the 
decoration of shrine VI. 
3.8, north and east walls 

Second phase of the 
decoration of shrine VI. 
R.S, north and east walls 

Successive painted 

ms on the hulls' 

sfrom the east wall 

f shrine VLB. 8. See 


f atal Hiiyiik 

Plate 26; Fig. 37 

panels of hands in VII and VI B, always in the same building. The 
people who made the red bull, 2-4 metres in length, may have seen 
the somewhat smaller black one and copied the design. The west 
wall of the shrine bore the familiar representation of a goddess, 
originally about 1-2 metres in height, with raised arms and up- 
turned feet, a position indicative of childbirth. Immediately below 
her a large bull's head with spreading horns, modelled in clay and 
plaster, is shown. The representation is clear and shows the goddess 
having given birth to a bull. One of the many layers of plaster was 
painted yellow, but without any traces of patterns. A second bull's 
head, originally painted and with aurochs horns lay crushed at the 
foot of the wall from winch it must have fallen. 

One more shrine (VLB. 10) of this building-level remains to be 
described. Of this the north wall was still standing to its original 

37 West wall of shrine VI3.8 

38 North and west walls of 
shrine VI.B.10 restored 

height of 3 • 3 5 metres. It continued in use during Level VI A, during 
which the floor-level rose 6o cms, but even this height was in- 
sufficient to take the monumental plaster panel on the west wall, 
about 30 cms higher than the ceiling, so that the central part of the 
building must have been raised, probably in the form of a berceau 
made of reeds and plaster or constructed in wood as in the Lycian 

A large figure of a goddess, of which only the legs and part of the 
body remained in situ, was shown in the position of giving birth to a 
ram (shown as a ram's head in the customary manner). The scene is 
supported by a frame which contains three superimposed heads of 
bulls with aurochs horns. In one of the many phases of decoration, 
figure of the goddess was painted yellow, as the one in shrine 
VI. 8. On either side of the frame there were deep niches in the wall; 
between the two at the left hand side of the goddess a lower jaw of a 
boar was inserted into the wall and the frame round the niches was 
painted with checkerboard patterns. The high deep niche on the 
other side was subdivided by a vertical partition on which was fixed 
a rani's head, and a small bull's head surmounted this in a shallow 
recess. A large ram's head with two pairs of actual horns was placed 
on the central post along the north wall, and a large bull's head 
appeared from the east wall above a deep, red-painted niche. In 

Fig. 38 

Plate 28 ; Fig. 39 

Qatal Hiiytik 

Fig. 40 

Level VI B poorly preserved wall-paintings surrounded this head, 
which may also have been painted, but as the result of the con- 
flagration it was far too difficult to clean. Between the bull's head 
and the post a pair of pendulous woman's breasts appeared, open at 
the nipple end and painted red like the muzzle of the bull. From each 
of them the beak of a Griffon Vulture (Gyps vulvus) protruded, 
as each breast contained a complete skull. Beyond the post a horn 
was moulded in plaster and, as in shrine VIL23, the only entrance 
into the building lay through a doorway set high up in the wall. The 
panel below it was painted in the VI B period. 

During its occupation in Level VI A, the floor level of the shrine 
rose by 60 cms and the animal heads gradually sank to floor-level; 
a bucranium was erected on the corner platform and the wall- 
paintings on the east and west walls were covered with white 
plaster. A new facade was built in front of the niches on either side 
of the main plaster panel on the west wall, which remained un- 
altered until it was destroyed by fire at the end of Level VI A. 

jp North and east walls of shrine VI.B.10 with entrance on the right 

The Shrines and their Reliefs 



40 North and west walls of shrine VIA. 10 restored 

The destruction of this building preserved a fine collection of stone 
statuettes in situ on the floor, for with the stone tools at their dis- 
posal the inhabitants of £atal Huyiik were unable to dig them out 
from under the thick layers of burnt brick fused together by the 
tremendous heat of the fire. 

As in this shrine, the wall-paintings of shrine VLB. 8 were covered 
with plaster during the new period (VI. A) and two plaster beams, an 
upper red one, and a lower white one, were laid over the old paint- 
ings. In these 'beams' the lower jaws of boar were inserted, nine in 
the upper and four in the lower. The bulls' and the single ram's head 
remained in use and were repainted and two additional small bulls' 
heads -were placed on the northernmost panel of the east wall. Four 
bucrania were erected in a row on the edges of the platforms and the 
sunk bull relief was replastered like the entire west wall. The horns 
in the bench were abolished. After a fire in which the tusks of the 

Plate 27; Fig. 41 

Qatal Huyiik 

41, 42 Decoration of the north and east walls of shrine VLA.8. Above the third phase, and below 
the fourth phase. See Plate 27 


The Shrines and their Reliefs 

boars got burnt, the entire building was replastered and each 

boar's jaw was turned into a woman's breast. In this last phase of the 

occupation of this shrine, there were no wall-paintings and when the Fig. 42 

building was deserted its doorway was bricked up and the room 

filled with earth and unburnt brick. 

The burnt shrine VI.B.7 was remodelled in VI. A and a new east 
wall was inserted in front of the old one. Its new doorway was raised 
above floor-level and a red-painted niche was set in the main panel 
of the wall. A fine ram's head and a bull's head (both with actual 
horns) were placed on either side of the southern post, and both 
heads were painted with human hands. On the edge of the platform 
a 'bucranium' was set up, incorporating not the horns of a bull, Plate V; Fig. 43 

but those of a big ram. 

No actual changes seem to have been made during period VI.A 
in shrines VI. 16, 61 and 44, except continual repaintings. Shrines 
VLB. 29 and 3 1 were built above their Level VII predecessors. The 
former building may still have been a shrine and like VLA.30 may 
have had a relief along its west wall, for "which there are certain 
indications. Shrine VLB and A. 31 was built on top of shrine 
VII.31 but except for two fine bulls' heads, framed by plastered Plate 23 

posts nothing has survived of the decoration of this room, even the 
plaster was stripped off the walls. Other shrines of Level VLB, such 
as 12, 1 and 5, seem to have been turned into houses and 15 and 29 

43 East wall of shrine Vl.A.7 with doorway on the left. See Plate V 


Qatal Huytik 

were filled in to form a courtyard. Two bulls' heads were found 
on the walls of shrine VI. A.25 as well as a fine group of stone statuettes 
and it looks as if this building took the place of shrine VLB. 15 
next door. In the northern area, room VI.A.66, with a fine painted 
bull's head and a panel of symbols and small human figures, is pro- 
bably a subsidiary shrine. Two others, VI. A. 50 and 51 have horns 
set in the benches. 

After the destruction of Level VI A, a number of shrines may have 
been rebuilt over the main shrines in the southern area (E.V.3, 5, 
6, 8) but their remains are so denuded that one cannot be certain. 
Fragments of reliefs, too scanty to be described here, were found in 
E.V.12, 2 and 4 (bull's head with paint), buildings which were 
probably shrines and the successors of the Leopard Shrine, shrine 
VI.A.25 and VLB. 15 respectively. The fragments merely show that 
the practice of decorating sanctuaries with plaster reliefs survived 
into Level V, but none of a later date have been found. 

Before discussing the religion of the people of (patal Huyiik, 
the development of wall-painting, the other technique of shrine- and 
house-decoration must claim our attention. 




Painting was practised at Qatal Hiiyiik throughout the life of 
the settlement; the earliest fragments of wall-painting come 
from the building rubbish found below a house of Level X and. the 
latest covered walls in Level II, by winch period paint was also 
applied to light-coloured pots, though not yet on any scale. Painting 
was not confined to walls, but was also applied to plaster reliefs, 
clay statuettes, skeletons, wood, baskets and finally to pottery. It 
may be assumed that textiles were dyed, and paint was certainly 
applied to eyes and eyebrows, cheeks and lips of the women, if not 
to their bodies. In short, the people of Qatal Hiiyiik painted what they 
could and when they could. Excavations at aceramic Hacilar, 
Mesolithic Beldibi and the Upper Palaeolithic caves of Okiizlii'In 
and Kara'In on the subtropical south coast of Anatolia have shown 
the earlier phases of a well-established tradition of painting in 

At (Jatal Hiiyiik a full range of pigments was in use, derived on the 
■whole from minerals, such as iron oxides (red, brown and yellow 
ochres), copper ores (bright blue azurite, green malachite), mercury 
oxide (cinnabar for a deep red), red, possibly from haematite, 
manganese mauve or purple, galena for lead grey. The plaster back- 
ground is cream or dead white and was locally available from the 
Pleistocene lake beds. Black was obtained from soot. The colours 
were finely ground with pestle and mortar but not perhaps mixed 
with animal fat or vegetable oil or white of egg, though all of 
which were available, dried in lumps or shaped into crayons and 
spread on flat stone palettes. Fine brush strokes imply the use of 
brushes, some extremely fine, whereas plain panels of red may have 
been painted with the use of a rag dipped in a pot of paint, as is still 
done today in the villages around £atal Hiiyiik. Once in Level VI, 


Qatal Hiiyuk 

mica, a mineral, finely pounded was added to the mauve paint to 
produce a glittering effect. 

The paint was applied directly to the wall without previous 
tracing of outlines and the painters were evidently sure enough of 
themselves to dispense with this preliminary procedure. In a series 
of unfinished paintings in shrine A.III.8 the process of execution 
of an elaborate textile pattern can be followed in detail (see p. 154). 
The recurrence of numerous patterns and the complete repainting 
of complicated scenes, such as a deer hunt, about four times suggests 
the existence of books of patterns and scenes, probably on cloth or 

The following colours were in use : all shades of red and brown, 
buff and yellow, pink and orange, mauve, grey and black, and 
blue. All these were used in wall-painting, but blue occurs once 
only, though both blue and green were used for painting parts of 
skeletons in Levels VII, VI B and VI A. Polychrome paintings are as 
common as monochrome ones and are not confined to any period. 

In shrines and houses, wall-paintings had a ritual function. When 
the painting had served its purpose — we do not know how long this 
took, it may have been a year or the duration of certain festivals — 
it was covered with a layer of white plaster. The same area might be 
repainted at a later date and there may be as many as a dozen paintings 
on one wall, but this is not common and there may be a hundred 
layers of white plaster covering a wall-painting. During the vast 
majority of the years when shrines and houses were in use their 
walls were white. 

Wall-paintings at (Jatal Hiiyuk may be divided into six groups: 

1 Plain panels of paint without any motifs, usually red, orange, 
pinkish red or brownish red. Black panels occur only in shrine 

2 Panels of geometric patterns in monochrome or polychrome, 
simple or elaborate with repetitive motifs, rectilinear or 

3 Panels with symbols; solid circles, quatrefoils, crenellations, 
stylized flowers or stars, etc. 

4 Human hands, either isolated or grouped into panels or borders 
of hands framing panels with geometric or naturalistic designs. 



£&:% r- : - : fV;* 

59, 60 Copy and original of a landscape painting from north and east walls of shrine VII. 14. In the 
foreground is a town rising in graded terraces closely packed with rectangular houses. Behind the 
town an erupting volcano is shown, its sides covered with incandescent volcanic bombs rolling 
down the slope of the mountain. Others are thrown up from the erupting cone above which hovers 
a cloud of smoke and ashes. The twin cones suggest that an eruption of Hasan Dag, rising to a 
height of 10,672 feet 1,3,5 5 3 metres) and standing at the eastern end of the Konya Plain and visible 
from Qatal Hiiyuk, is recorded. See Plate I 



;?>V& f 



61-63 The Hunting Shrine of Qatal Hfiyuk III (A.III.i). The east wall was decorated with a long 
scene of dancing hunters, armed with bows and clubs and dressed in skins and bonnets of leopard 
skin, and a number of deer. Only the left hand fragment was in situ, above, the rest had slipped down 
into a Hellenistic robbers trench (visible above a woman's skull treated with red ochre, below right), 
but could be restored on paper. Among the dancers are some lively naked acrobats, a man striking 












L ; «x 


i drum and a number of strange figures, painted half red, half white which were possibly headless. 

& similar figure from the north wall of the shrine, beyond the big bull shown in Plate 64, is armed 
rail a mace, below left. Below the floor of the shrine only female burials were found, and there 
were no burials below the platform normally occupied by the male of the house, a situation 
■without parallel at Qatal Huyiik 

: ,.% : ,. 


64 An enormous red bull occupied the greater part of the north wall of shrine A.III.i, once again 
emphasizing the strength of religious tradition at (patal Huyuk, where bulls always occupy this 
position (Plates n, 12, 14) facing the Taurus ('Bull') Mountains, perhaps not a coincidence. This 
great beast, over six feet long, dominates the decoration of the shrine and the awe inspired by 
this monster is clearly shown by the small size of the male figures that surround it. The tops of the 
horns, tail and the lower part of the legs with the hoofs are lost. Between the horns stands another 
figure painted half white, half red and above, in front and behind are male hunters, dressed in 
monochrome red skins (and not leopard skins), unfortunately poorly preserved. Though some are 
armed and the excited hunters surround the animal, no wounding or killing is shown and it is 
doubtful whether the scene represents the hunt 

65 This limestone concretion, 
from shrine, of which 
only the top was carved into a 
human head probably embodies 
the chthonic aspect of the 
Mother Goddess. Semi-ani conic, 
k emphasizes the fear and awe 
inspired by stalacmitic under- 
ground caverns of the Taurus 
Mountains, the haunt of the Earth 
Goddess and the realm of the 


66 Coarsely modelled figurines of animals in baked clay from Level VI. Wild boar and a feline head 
are on the left, a horned animal (bull or cow) on the right and a headless figure below. The coarse 
bristles of the boar are shown by nail imprints. Nearly all these figures are intentionally maimed or 
broken and many bear 'wounds' inflicted with obsidian arrows or other offensive weapons. Found 
in groups buried in pits, these figures had evidently been used in a hunting ritual in which they had 
served as substitutes for the animals the hunters hoped to kill 

67, 68 Large clay figure of a 
goddess supported by two 
felines, giving birth to a child. 
An early example of the con- 
cept of the goddess as 'Mistress 
of Animals', it was found in a 
grain bin of shrine A.II.i, where 
it may have been placed to 
promote the fertility of the crops 
by sympathetic magic 

69 Semi-aniconic figure of a pregnant (?) goddess in blue limestone from shrine It consists 
of a small boulder with incised eyes and mouth, sufficient to turn the stone into a shape resembling 
a woman. Qatal Huyiik VI has yielded examples of several theoretical stages of sculpture. They 
range from the aniconic but highly suggestive concretions and stalactites, purely natural and 
unworkcd by human hand, through semi-aniconic figures in which a likeness was enhanced with a 
few lines by the sculptor (Plates 65, 69, 72) ; a head or arms added to statuettes carved with a mini- 
mum of detail (Plates 70, 71, 88, 91), or fully realistic, but schematized human forms (Plates 78-80, 

p-72 White marble figures from shrine VI. : a double 
goddess above, a small schematized figure below. The double 
goddess with two heads, two pairs of breasts, but a single 
jpir of arms is the earliest representation yet of a concept 
nliar to Anatolian religion, recurring later at Hacilar I 
: Kiiltepe. It probably represents the two aspects, mother 
i maiden, of the great goddess, predecessors of the 'Two 
lies' of the Knossos texts, the famous ivory from 
pcenae and the Dcmeter and Kore of Classical Greece 

73-76 The pair of statues of goddesses 
with leopards, in brown and blue lime- 
stone, (each shown in front and back 
view), were found together with a boy 
on a leopard (Plate 86). Evidently made 
by the same sculptor, they reflect the 
same recurrent idea of mother and 
maiden, here amplified by the addition 
of a male child. These statues were 
found in shrine, but they were 
already old and headless and they may 
originally have come from shrine VII.8. 
Accompanied by their sacred animal, 
the leopard, these statues stress the 
aspect of the deities as Mistress and 

* r. 

Master of Animals, the connection 
with nature and wildlife. The goddesses 
stand behind the animals, whereas the 
boy god rides on it. Of the pair, the 
mature nude figure, left, in brown lime- 
stone is evidently the mother, whereas 
the young figure with a shawl of skin 
round the neck, right, in blue limestone 
evidently represents the daughter, or 
maiden aspect of the goddess. The 
figure of the boy god is in brown lime- 
stone, like that of his mother, a subtle 
distinction which is typical of neolithic 
Qatal Huyiik 

< 77 This fine alabaster figure of a stand- 
ing goddess is carved in the more 
naturalistic style characteristic of the 
later building-levels of Qatal Hiiyiik. 
It was found in the storeroom of shrine 
E.IV.4. The burning of the building 
has caused the alabaster to blister which 
accounts for the great patch on the body 
of the figure and her left arm. The hole 
in the head is peculiar and may have 
served for the attachment of a cap, 
crown or flower? As with all these 
early statuettes, the figure lacks a mouth 

78, 79 Above, the upper part of a fine 
marble statue with arms worked in the 
round and delicately carved breasts. 
The lower half of the figure was already 
lost when it was deposited in shrine 
VI.A.10. The fine, painted baked clay 
statue, below, was found in the ante- 
room of shrine VI.A.61 and shows a 
delicacy of modelling in hands and 
asts not often encountered. The 
re is painted with cross-like flower 
patterns, familiar from the wall-paint- 
ings. To date it is the earliest example 
of a naturalistically modelled figure in 
day from Anatolia 

8 1 Necklace of blue apatite beads, graded in size, and in 
the shape of highly schematized steatopygous goddesses, 
with two shell pendants. Found with the red ochre burial 
of a young woman (?) below the large building IV.8. The 
schematic goddesses have clear links with similar figures 
from Peterfels in Baden and representations of women in 
French caves of the Upper Palaeolithic 

8o, 82 Kneeling figure of white marble, partly burnt, 
depicting a goddess from shrine VI.A.25, found together 
with the figure of a bird of prey, below, probably a vulture, 
and the statue of an adolescent male god (Plate 84). It is 
likely that the grim owl-faced deity with the vulture repre- 
sents yet another aspect of the goddess; the goddess of 
death, the crone of later mythology 

83 Unique greenish-grey schist plaque from shrine VLA.30 with four figures in bold relief. On 
the left a couple of deities are shown in embrace ; on the right a mother holding a child, whose head 
is unfortunately lost. It is possible, if not probable, that the two scenes relate a succession of events; 
the union of the couple on the left and the intended result on the right. The goddess remains the 
same, the male appears either as husband or as son. This may be one of the earliest representations of 
the litems gams, the 'sacred marriage' 


5 Naturalistic paintings; goddesses, human figures, bulls, birds, 
vultures, leopards, deer found either by themselves or grouped 
into elaborate scenes like deer hunts, bulls with human figures, 
funerary rites, etc. 

6 Representations of landscape and architecture; volcano and 
town and mortuary structures. 

The distribution of these varied subjects is indicated in the table on 
p. 8 1 which indicates the range of such subjects in the various build- 
ing-levels so far excavated. Subject to confirmation by later excava- 
tions it appears that groups i and 2 (plain and geometric panels) 
span almost the entire period from Level X to II and III respectively. 
Group 3 (symbols) also runs from Level X-III, but human hands 
(group 4) have not so far been found after Level VI A and group 6 
is represented only in Levels VII and VI. Naturalistic paintings have 
a wide range, starting in Level IX with a black bull, but vultures 
occur only in VIII and VII and human figures are rare in the lower 
levels (VIII-VI A). Elaborate and lively scenes of hunting, etc., 
appear to be characteristic only of the end of the period in Levels IV 
and 111, where they occur in four shrines. 

A preliminary analysis then shows the existence side by side of 
geometric and naturalistic painting, as in the earlier Upper Palaeo- 
lithic of Europe and Anatolia. In the Early Chalcolithic painted 
pottery we find the continuation of both these groups, especially in 
the pottery of Hacilar where the geometric designs are accompanied 
by the 'fantastic style', which includes purely naturalistic forms with 
highly schematized elements of the same nature (birds, bulls, rams, 
snakes, etc.). 

The use of red paint on panels, posts, niches, doorways and some- 
times on benches, platforms or animal-heads in plaster, architectural 
or decorative details of houses and shrines is widespread and hardly 
a single well-preserved house is without it. It is obviously part of the 
building-tradition and it has survived in a number of villages around 
Qatal Huyuk to the present day. It has no structural significance and 
its use must therefore be regarded as ritual. It is paralleled by the red 
ochre burials or the use of red paint on baskets and boxes and in each 



Qatal Huyiik 

case red paint, symbolic of blood and life, has a protective function. 
It wards off evil spirits and protects the object so decorated, be it the 
body of the dead, the wall of the house or shrine near which he 
slept, the bench or platform on which he sat or slept, the posts which 
support his roof and which might fall down, the boxes in which 
precious possessions were kept or the baskets in which his food was 
stored. In a world filled with evil spirits such protection was essential 
and if we could only discover the colour of garments we might 
safely assume that red cloth was made for this very purpose. There 
is one scrap of evidence which proves the use of red cloth; a number 
of broken beads in Level VI contained red stains of thread and as no 
red ochre was present in the grave, these can only have come from 
the thread. Nor is it at all impossible to assume that the red panels 
over the platforms imitate hangings of red cloth, just as the geometric 
panels copy patterned textiles. Rows of holes for fixing such hangings 
occur in a number of shrines (VII. 8; in a position at the 

Figs 25, 26 foot of the wall, where such panels with imitation hangings are most 

often found. 

It is probably not a coincidence that solid black panels have been 
found only below the vulture painting in shrine VII.21, where they 
alternate in time with red ones. In this context black evidently 
represents death and mourning. How far the inhabitants of (patal 
Hiiyiik carried this symbolism is difficult to tell, but we have found 
black vultures and red vultures, red bodies and one faded black body 
(in room VI. A. 27), black bulls and red bulls, and rows of alternate 
red hands and black hands. Such contrasts need not be purely 
decorative and probably have a meaning. It may be argued that red 
and black are some of the easiest available colours, but the paintings 
at (Jatal Hiiyiik, more often polychrome than not, show no lack of 
pigments available so that such a theory is hardly tenable. Nor 
should we attach too much importance to a naturalistic rendering of 
colours in the depiction of humans and animals. The male population 
of Qatal Hiiyiik, though naturally sunburnt, was white skinned, but 
males are painted red with black hair. Women are painted red or 
white and, though it may be argued that they were less sun-tanned 
than the men, they nevertheless worked in the fields or on the roofs 


of the houses where they would be exposed to the sun. The white 
figures of women might indicate a white dress rather than white 
bodies and the evidence is quite inconclusive. They are distinguished 
from the men in shape rather than in colour. The same applies to the 
bulls, and, whereas the male aurochs was probably black in colour, 
the huge red figures in shrines VI. 8 and III.i are evidently also bulls 
judging by their horns and the only possible figure of a cow (shrine 
VII. i) was painted blue! Also vultures in life are neither red nor 
black but brown. 

Prima facie acceptance of the colours as naturalistic would create 
a naive picture of a polychrome society of red or white women, red 
men with red or black hands pursuing blue cows and red and black 
bulls, which is anydiing but convincing. 

Panels with geometric decoration are common and varied and 
may also be used for the decoration of plastered posts (as in the 
Leopard Shrine VI.B.44 or house A.III.10), although these are 
usually painted red. Sometimes the patterns consist of groups of 
parallel vertical (house VI.B.28) or horizontal lines (house VIII. 1); 
frequently more elaborate patterns are preferred, such as great 
panels of concentric circles in shrine VIII.2 above a dado of black and 
red triangles. On the east wall of this shrine these were repeated four 
times but on the north wall they only formed a single layer, re- 
shaped patterns in red or orange covered the main panel on the 
north wall of house VLB. 3 and the panel below the doorway in 
shrine VLB. 10. Checkerboard patterns surrounded the niche below 
the boar's jaw in the same building; superimposed triangles, half 
red, half white, a post in house A.m. 10. Vertical wavy lines in red 
surrounded a niche painted orange in shrine ni.13, horizontal 
ones decorate the bull's head in shrine VI.A.66; A-shaped patterns, 
upright and reversed in black and red, cover a panel on the west wall 
of house VI.B.45. Groups of orange dots occupied the lower panel 
of the north wall of shrine VI.A.66, the central eastern panel of which 
bore a pattern of concentric circles and pointed stars in -white and 
orange on cream. Many of these are too fragmentary to reconstruct, 
but hardly any two are the same. Some, like the orange painting 
from the north wall of shrine IX. 1, defy interpretation. 



Qatal Huyiik 

Another series, liowever, starting with a polychrome painting in 

shrine IX. 8 and continuing with a whole group in Levels VIII- VI A, 

evidently represent textiles and their resemblance to Anatolian 

kihms {i.e. thin woven rugs) is striking. As weaving was widely 

practised at Qatal Huyiik and dyeing would present no difficulties, 

since all the necessary plants for the production of vegetable dyes 

grow wild around the mound, the probability that kihms were 

already produced should seriously be considered. In this connection it 

is particularly interesting to note that two of these wall-paintings 

Plates 30, VIII; g. Qm fame VII.21 imitate a stitched border. On a painting this makes 

Figs 14, 15 11-T • 1 , • T • 1 

no sense unless a kilim provided its prototype. In two superimposed 

Fig. 24 wall-paintings from shrine VII. 1 the stitched border, indicated by 

impression in the previous shrine, is painted as a row of light and 
dark squares, neatly marking the edge of the kilim. Rather than 
suggesting that these wall-paintings inspired the later weaving of 
kilirns, these borders indicate the reverse, and it seems now likely 
that kihms have been woven in Anatolia since the late seventh 
millennium bc, or for at least the last eight thousand years. 

Favourite motifs of these kilim patterns are rectangles filled with 
Union Jack patterns, alternate rows of red and black triangles with a 

Plates 30, VIII central white dot, or squares filled with concentric lozenges, with 

or without a border. This may be grooved (as in shrine VII.21) 
or merely painted (shrines VII. 1 and 8, and VI.B.i or VI.A.50), 
but in a number of cases it was faint and could not be preserved 
[e.g. shrines VI.B.15, IX.8 and VIII.8). 
Whereas the kilim patterns of Levels IX-VII are fairly simple, 

Plate 29; Fig. 44 those of Levels VI B and VI A show great sophistication and a new 

motif is introduced which looks like a string of vertically or diagon- 
ally arranged lozenges, varying in shape and size and combined with 
zigzag and wavy lines. Other elements look like the fine mesh of a 
shawl or a pattern of bricks or openwork reed matting, but their 
origin is probably to be sought in the sophisticated textiles of this 
period. About a dozen such paintings covered the two panels of the 
east wall of shrine VI.B.i, which was repainted over and over again. 
Continuity in decoration marks this building which was built on top 
of an earlier shrine in Level VII similarly decorated with numerous 


44 North and east wall 
of shrine VLB.i with the 
'mortuary wall-painting 
on the north wall, and 
textiles and kilim pattern 
paintings over the main 
platforms. On the wall 
beyond the bench are 
painted 'bones'. See 
Plates 8, 29 

kilim-patterns. Many of these paintings were exceedingly frag- 
mentary and the conflagration which destroyed this building twice in 
Level VI has reduced the fine layers of plaster to the thickness of a 
dead leaf as well as changing its colour. The earliest of the textile 
paintings is also one of the most complicated ; many of the later 
paintings on the northern panel resemble each other without being 
identical. The finest of all, one of the latest, though only half pre- 
served and measuring nearly 1 ■ 8 metres in length, has a pattern as 
complicated as many a modern kilim and is painted in red, white, 
orange-red and grey on buff. Not only the general effect, but the 
colour variations in the vertical bands, without affecting the pattern, 
is that of a textile. Within the triangles the fill motif resembles a 
stylized flower or, less likely, a four-fingered hand. The central 
vertical bands show a simplified design whereas the broader outer 
bands are more elaborate. There is some evidence to show that this 
kilim pattern was once repainted, but not enough survived to be 
certain that the later painting followed exactly the same pattern. 
Along the top a border with a wavy line on alternate red and white 
background marked the kilim's edge below a plastered horizontal 
beam. Fragments of a similar kilim pattern, also with red and white 
mesh bordering a triangle were found in house VLB. 3 next door, 
and another version is seen on the posts of the Leopard Shrine. 

Plate 29; tig. 44 

Fig. 29 

f atal Hiiyiik 

Kilim patterns of the same sort decorated the east and north walls 
Plates 37, 38; Fig. 45 of the somewhat later shrine VI.A.50. Of these the one on the main 

panel of the east wall, was the most interesting and was painted in 
red, black and white. Against a mesh background three vertical 
bands of lozenges with rounded triangles on either side stand out. 
The fill-motifs are more varied here; stylized flowers, crosses, 
horns and even a small hand. The other paintings lack the mesh 
background, and the semicircles have no fill-motifs. 

Simpler textile patterns consisting of vertical bands -with zigzag 
or lozenge motifs occurred in shrines VLB.i and VLB. 15, and a 
particularly interesting pattern in red was found in house VLB. 65. 
p l ate 35 Panels with 'leopard spots', identical with the patterns on the 

leopard reliefs are less common, but they occurred in the richly 
painted shrine VLB. I. It is possible that these paintings replaced 
actual hangings of leopard skin, in the same way as red panels and 
kilim paintings replaced actual cloth and textiles. 

In Levels V and IV only fragments of striped patterns and two 
triangles painted in black were found on the central post of the east 
wall of shrine E.IV.i. In Level III, however, an entire shrine (A.III.8) 
was ornamented with kilim and textile patterns. The latest of these is 
unfinished, but was meant to cover the entire building except the 
south wall, as is clear from the red triangles covering all three walls. 
Plates 31, 32 In fact, only the painting of the north-west corner was completed. 

Two rows of vertical panels divided by parallel horizontal lines 
formed the pattern and each panel contained groups of lines diagon- 
ally arranged in a zigzag pattern rather like woven mats. The trian- 
gular interstices were filled with red paint. From the un£nished panels 
the painter's method can be followed in detail: first he put down the 
red triangles, leaving space enough for the white ones; then he put 
in the grey ground in stripes, leaving white lines round the red 
triangles and thirdly and finally he repainted the white lines. This 
final over-painting in white was clearly to be seen in the most 
perfect areas of the painting. Some pleasant irregularities in the 
design are similar to deliberate 'faults* in Anatolian kilims, the idea 
being that perfect work can only be made by God. The way in which 
this kilim was intended to cover the walls — running round the 

45 East end of shrine VI.A.50 with 
paintings of kilims, a figure of the 
aoddess and bucrania. See Plates 37, 38 


corners of the room — gives one the sense of a wall-hanging of 
enormous size (14*4 metres, or over 45 feet). 

Below this painting on part of the west wall was another con- 
sisting of two vertical rows of red crosses or flowers outlined in pink 
and associated with crenellations of an even earlier layer with 
quatrefoils in orange-red with a pink border. Elements of this earliest 
pattern have also survived on the north and east wall, associated 
with barbed zigzag lines (honeycombs in section ?) and other motifs. 
These may be regarded as textile motifs and at the same time as 
symbols, presumably of fertility. A pattern of deep red dots and V's, 
it would seem, immediately preceded the unfinished kilim pattern, 
so that there is evidence for not less than four superimposed patterns 
on the west wall (orange-red quatrefoils; large red quatrefoils; dots 
and V's and finally the red, white and grey kilim). 

A parallel for the kilim is found in a shrine (A.III.13) where an 
identical pattern, but coloured black and white, covered earlier 
paintings of a hunting scene on the north wall. Finally no geometric 
or figurative paintings have so far been found in building-level II, 
from which only red panels survive. 

Plates 33, 34 


f atal Huyuk 


DC The enthroned goddess from the shrine in Level II, the latest found at £atal Huyuk. Supported 
by two felines, the goddess is Mistress of Animals and is shown giving birth to a probably male 
child. She is made of baked clay and was found in the grain bin of the shrine 

X Group of three statuettes in blue (left) and brown limestone, from shrine VI.A.10, showing the 
double aspect of the goddess, maiden and mother, accompanied by the divine child— all three 
statues in association with a leopard, the sacred animal of the deities of the animal world and of 

XI Detail of a doe and fawn from the hunting scene in the ante-chamber of shrine A.HI.I., the 

latest shrine with pictorial representations found at Catal Hiiyuk 

XH Burial of a woman with funeral gifts in shrine VLB.20. On the left a round basket imprint 
in white, then a polished obsidian mirror set in lime plaster and just beyond it a small oval basket 
containing rouge 

XIII Fragment from the southern part of the dancers painting on the east wall of shrine A.III.i, 
showing a hunter in white loin-cloth and black-spotted, pink leopard skin. Round the neck he 
wears a pendant and in his right hand he holds a bow 

XTV Ceremonial dagger of flint from male burial in shrine VLB.29. The dagger which is polished 
on one side and pressure-flaked on the other was provided with a carved bone handle representing 

3 SllLtKC 

XV Bead necklaces and bracelets of various cut and polished stones, mainly from Levels VI. A and B. 
Blue apatite necklace of beads in the form of stylized goddesses from a shrine IV.8 red ochre 
burial. Eye for fastening belt hooks, of polished bone, from a burnt burial in shrine VT.A.5 


H(P(|LfV">fl^ ' 


'Mm ®r 

>•■ ■"' ' Ik. 

ft-* J 




Symbols are frequent in the -wall-paintings of Qatal Hiiyiik and 
we Lave already had occasion to refer to them in the description of a 
number of paintings in Levels VI and III. Most motifs may have 
had a symbolic meaning and, among these, human hands and 
quatrefoils, probably a stylized flower, are at once the most pro- 
minent and the most ancient. The earliest fragment of a wall-painting 
from Qatal Huyiik, that found in the debris below a house of Level X, 
shows such a quatrefoil, shaped rather like a Maltese cross; this 
probably decorated the jamb of a doorway as do many others in 
Levels VII and VI B. They appear as fill-motifs in kilim paintings of 
Levels VI B and VI A, or decorate whole fields in rows in shrine 
A.III. 8 described above. 

Far more elaborate is a panel from shrine VI.A.66 where such 
flower-like motifs occur on either side of two others; an object 
resembling at first sight a 'double axe' and a mauve and orange 
wheeled cross with strange projections at the end of each arm. One 
of the arms overlies the flower on the right and the flower itself 
: j vers a crenellation pattern like those from the west wall of shrine 
A.HI.8. Three small goddesses and two superimposed human figures, 
a steatopygous female and a male archer arc painted between the 
wheeled cross and the flower pattern to the right. Although over- 
painting is notable, no layers of white paint intervened between these 
ers of paint and additions were therefore made to already existing 
paintings in the way of Upper Palaeolithic and many primitive 
riintings. At Qatal Huyiik this procedure is unique. It is impossible 
to extract the meaning from this painting as a whole, but we can at 
least make some suggestions about the symbols. As double axes are 
not found at £atal Hiiyiik, there are no grounds for interpreting 
this symbol as a double axe. This strange shape finds its best parallels 
in a number of stone beads from the same building-level, and its 
association with stylized flowers might possibly suggest that some 
sort of insect (bee or butterfly) is meant. The small double triangles 
iceii between the four petals of the flowers and beyond do not 
soggest that these are necessarily part of the flower, they look more 
lie moths attracted by the flowers. One of the most common moths 
id (patal Hiiyiik is the hummingbird moth, which flies by day, 

Plate 36 

Plate 40 


(^atal Hiiyiik 

and the 'double axe' may represent some bright butterfly, of which 
there are plenty in spring in the Konya Plain when the plain is 
studded with flowers. 

The wheeled cross also presents difficulties and is unique at Qatal 
Hiiyiik. Could it represent four tall standing figures with upraised 
arms and legs combined into a circle — the four representing the 
points of the compass or the four regions of the plain — doing homage 

Plate 39 like the two human figures one of which covers her face to the thrice 

repeated mother goddess hovering in the distance? Does this wall- 
painting symbolize an act of homage to the great goddess on a 
spring morning in the Konya Plain amids fields of flowers and 
humming insect life nearly eight thousand years ago, or is this too 
fanciful an interpretation? It would be rash to deny the existence of 
agrarian rites in Neolithic religion; they are well attested in Minoan- 
Mycenaean and later Greek cults which owe so much to Anatolia. 

There are, moreover, other paintings at (Jatal Hiiyiik in shrine 
VLB. 8 (east wall) that again seem to depict fields of flowers and 
insect life. Two superimposed paintings depict versions of a single 

Plate 43 composition. The earlier, which is also the more complete, shows a 

cellular structure in red. On the left these cells are not filled with any 
design; m. the central portion of the painting white circles, sometimes 
with a central dot, fill the cells and most of these on the right are 
filled with a flower-like pattern, parallel wavy lines, winged or 
wingless insects. The red cellular structure is part of the painting 
and not superimposed on it. The interpretation suggested was that 
of the life-cyle of the bee in a honeycomb with closed cells on the 
left, from which, in the middle, the bees emerge to fly freely in a 
field of flowers on the right. Rows of four-fingered human hands in 
pink and black along the top and in pink (vertical) and white 
(horizontal) along the bottom provide a frame for this intriguing 

The later wall-painting, superimposed on the other after a lapse of 

Plate 41 time was similar in composition, but only the southern end has 

survived. There are some differences however, the main one being 

j% if that the cellular pattern is an addition to the original painting which 

shows a field of flowers and branches from which sway wingless 



46 Copy of a later painting on the east wall of shrine VI.B.8 with the red net pattern removed 
showing insects and flowers. See Plates 41, 42 

insects or chrysalises, whilst other insects or butterflies hover with 
clearly marked wings around the flowers. That this scene was in- 
spired by nature is clear in spite of stylization and the subject is 
evidently spring (there are no flowers in the Konya Plain after the 
end of June). The most incongruous element in these paintings is the 
four-fingered hands and why are these four-fingered only here? 
One cannot help wondering why Neolithic man's most important 
crops — the spiked ears of wheat and barley — alone never appear in 
any of these wall-paintings. Could there be a remote symbolism 
connecting these hands with the ears of corn? Did neolithic man 
perhaps have the notion that the ears were the plant's hand where we 
talk about 'heads' or 'ears'. Why do we find this interest in plant 
and animal life in ritual wall-paintings but to man's interest and 

We may perhaps suggest a different explanation for these scenes; 
the cycle of the agrarian year with the blank field on the left; repre- 
senting the fallow field; the circles and dots, the holes in which the 
seeds were planted ; the flowers and insects, the emergence of the 
crops, and the red cellular net pattern with hands on either side a 
symbolic representation of the gathering of the fruit, in other words 
harvest. The idea of netting the harvest' could easily have been 


Qatai Htiyiik 

derived from the other occupation of Neolithic man, the hunt in 
which nets were certainly used. 

Plates 43, 44 The association of hands and net-like patterns recurs in shrine 

VII.8, which lies directly below the building with the scenes just 
described. In a wall-painting which occupies part of the west and 
north walls we find the same association of red and black hands 
above and red hands below a series of alternate red and black linear 
net-like patterns. Here there are no fields of flowers, but there is a big 
black bull further along the north wall. Whether a connection exists 
between the two actual paintings is impossible to affirm and the bull 
could conceivably be somewhat later in date. 

Still another shrine (VLB. 10) shows a net-like painting, with some 
hands added in a certain phase around the head of a bull above a 
niche, perhaps another symbolic attempt at capture. If translated to a 
religious sphere (conquest of death?), a parallel for this is found in 
the same building where a checkerboard pattern (another representa- 
tion of a net?) surrounds a similar niche surmounted by the lower 
jaw of a boar, another death-symbol. Parts of red lines suggestive of 
nets or a stockade appear behind a bull on the north wall of shrine 
A.III.i and two panels of painting on the north wall of shrine VLB. 15 
show a black and red net-pattern, textile-like in precision and more 
regular than that of shrine VII.8. This is partly covered by another 
and larger panel with about three score hands, fifty-seven of which 
have survived. Finally it may not be a coincidence that the bulls' 
heads and the rain's head above the net and hand patterns on the east 
wall of shrine VI.B.8 are also painted with pictures of nets and hands, 
as if these animals, like the bull and the boar in the neighbouring 
building, were to be captured. Where this idea of net and animal 
occurs in shrines, it is on the east or north wall, traditionally asso- 
ciated with death and above the platforms beneath which the 
dead rested (this specific location also applies to the boar's jaw and 
niche in shrine VLB. 10). 

A further panel of human hands left in reserve on a red background 
was found below the later of the two paintings discussed above on 
the east wall of shrine VI.B.8 and may have been associated with it. 
All the hands are those of adults and they look like hands held on the 



wall round which paint was applied, whereas most others (except 
those in house VI.A.63) were painted on the wall in a positive 
technique. Most hands at (Jatal Hiiyuk are right hands, but there are 
a number of left hands. All are, however, complete hands and there 
are no signs of mutilation, such as are claimed for a number of 
representations in Upper Palaeolithic cave sanctuaries, especially 
Gargas in the Pyrenees. The curious empty circle in the palm which 
occurs on a large number of the (Jatal Hiiyuk paintings is easily 
explained and is the result of pressing a hand dipped in paint on to 
the wall. If care is taken to press all fingers to the wall the centre of 
the palm does not touch it thus leaving a circle free of paint. The 
fact that so many hands are painted (and not impressed) in this way 
shows that the practice of dipping hands in paint was widespread 
and used, e.g., on animal heads, goddess-figures, etc. 

The interpretation of paintings or impressions of hands — and to 
this we may add one foot imprint — then is varied. There is either the 
idea of touching a sacred figure in search of protection, obtaining its 
blessing and warding off evil (which is implied in protection) or 
association of hands with other scenes suggests something quite 
different; it would appear to be an abbreviation for people, just as 
bulls' and rams' heads apply the same principle of pars pro toto for 
bull and ram. 'All hands' still has the same meaning today in many 
languages, and some of these paintings may be captioned 'All 
hands to the harvest' or 'All hands to the net' a way of expression 
that has survived the eight thousand years that separate us from the 
Anatolian Neolithic. There is probably no need to remind any 
reader that the harvest, that symbol of Neolithic achievement and 
man's delivery from hunger, still to this very day demands every 
available hand. It is man's hands which differentiate him from the 
animal, and this most versatile of instruments has made him what he 
is. That Homo sapiens should have realized this and given recognition 
and expression to it in his art is no less than we can expect. From 
Neolithic times onwards the hand became the symbol of creation, 
of effort, both human and divine, and of man himself. It is the hand 
which sought blessings in prayer, the hand which caressed and the 
hand which warded off evil. 

Plate 7 


Qatal Hiiyiik 

Paintings of human figures, goddesses and animals are compara- 
tively rare at (patal Hiiyiik. The goddess is usually represented in 
plaster reliefs, which may or may not have been painted. Three 
small goddesses, each with raised arms and upturned legs were 

PIate 39 found on the painting from shrine VI. A. 66 already described, but a 

much larger one, about 61 cms in height, was found on the southern- 

*%• 45 most panel of the east wall of shrine VI. A.50 painted in monochrome 

red, showing the same familiar position. So far this is the only figure 
of a large goddess painted on the wall and not modelled in relief. 
Leopards, attributes of the goddess, were found only in shrine 
VI.44. and these also were modelled in relief and painted; bulls, 
the symbol of the male deity, occur more frequently in relief than 

plate Ir in paint. On the north wall of shrine IX. 8 a large black bull was 

painted, only part of which has survived. Below its front hoof is a 
rectangular structure painted in red, the significance of which is not 
clear. The bulls on the north walls of shrines VII. 8 and VI. 8, cut 
into the plaster and painted, have already been described and the 
only remaining bull, that from shrine A.III.8, will be discussed below. 
Two fragmentary birds come from a broken panel on the east wall 
of house VLB. 34 and they may have been part of a larger scene 
destroyed by a deep Hellenistic pit, the stagnant water of which 
caused the downfall of this panel in antiquity. 

Wall-paintings of vultures attacking human bodies are found 
only in three shrines of Levels VII and VIII and illustrate the pre- 
k'minaries of the burial habits of the Neolithic population of £atal 
Hiiyiik, which consisted of secondary burial of skeletons cleaned by 
vultures. These paintings are therefore of the utmost importance as 
they shed light on a practice which may have been far more widely 
practised than is commonly realized. 
In the earliest painting, which comes from the east wall of shrine 

plate 46 VIII.8 two large black vultures are shown, painted over the remains 

of an earlier polychrome kilim painting. Between them is a minute 
human figure, shown swinging a sling in vigorous motion, presum- 
ably to ward off the two vultures from the small headless corpse 
which lies on its left side to his right. In his left hand he is holding an 
object which may have been a mace or club. Behind the vulture on 



the left there are more black slings and the indistinct remains per- 
haps of a further red figure. The lower part of the painting has been 
destroyed by damp. 

The second vulture painting decorated the north wall of shrine Figs 14, 15 

VII.21. One complete group of two vultures, face to face over the 
headless body of a human figure, survives, but beyond the post on Plate 47 

the wall the wings of a further vulture were found which indicates 
that the scene was probably repeated, but -with only one vulture as 
the presence of the doorway leaves no room for a pair. In this shrine 
the entire scene was painted in a fine reddish-brown paint on a dead- 
white background. The collapse of the wall has obliterated the tops 
of the vultures heads, but the crests are clearly shown. With their 
enormous wings, these gruesome creatures dwarf the small headless 
human figure between them and this differs from all others in being 
shown with uplifted arms and widespread legs, as if it were lying on 
its back. A further peculiarity of this painting is seen in the legs of the 
vultures which, far from being naturalistically drawn as in shrine 
VII.8, are clearly those of human beings. The question therefore 
arises whether these vultures really portray beasts of prey or human 
beings disguised in vulture garb perforrning what is evidently a 
funerary rite. For lliis there is plenty of evidence in the slnine, wliicli 
contained four human skulls. 

It is not difficult to imagine the awe and terror which the wall- 
paintings of shrine VII.8 must have inspired in Neolithic man, c. 
6200 bc, on entering. All around its north and east wall, a great 
frieze showed not less than seven vultures with outspread wings Fig. 47 

making a feast of six small headless human beings. Vultures do 
not remove skulls so that it may be assumed that the absence 
of heads is a pictorial convention to indicate corpses. The burials 
found below this gruesome scene were all anatomically intact 
and none had lost their skulls, so there is no immediate connec- 
tion between the burial-rites and the wall-painting in this shrine. 
The corpses in the painting are shown in positions in which we find Plates 45, 48, 49 

the dead are buried, either contracted on their left side or fully ex- 
tended. Five large vultures are shown on the north wall and con- 
tinue into the east wall up to the first post, and on the two large 


Qatal Huyuk 

panels of that wall even larger vultures are portrayed with wing- 
spans of about 5 feet, i.e. nearly life-size. The bird represented is 
probably the Griffon vulture [Gyps vulvus) of Anatolia, very fre- 
quently seen in the Konya Plain and a most useful bird in countries 
where the law forbids the burying of dead animals. These scenes 
speak for themselves and are evidently connected with the burial 
rite of excarnation for which there is abundant evidence at Qatal 
Hiiyuk. The beaks of vultures leave no marks on the bones, they 
only tear off the flesh, and the brain inside the skull is not disturbed. 
Disarticulated skulls and other elements of bodies occur in two 

p l ate 8 wall-paintings from shrine VLB.i. In the first of these, painted on 

Fi i- H the east wall, a jumble of human bones is shown reminiscent of a 

disturbed grave, and in the second a series of what looks like human 
skulls, or rather decomposing heads and some bones are shown 
below a construction of reeds and matting (described above, p. 65), 
which probably represents the mortuary where the rites of ex- 
carnation were practised, presumably well away from the site and 
probably upstream. 

In only one other building, a slirine (E.IV.i) of Level IV, is a scene 

Plates 50, 51 presented which seems to be part of a funerary rite. Below the torso 

of a man (painted red) in a white loin-cloth (?) the head of a bearded 
man is shown and a little higher up towards the left there are the 
remains of what may have been a second head which, judging by the 
remains of a diadem of round discs, may have been that of a woman. 
This wall-painting is very badly destroyed, but there is certainly no 
room for two complete human figures and it seems far more likely 
that the red man was carrying two or more human heads. The 
carried head of the man is bearded and has a big lock of black hair; 
his grinning mouth and forehead are painted red as if smeared with 
blood and the eyes are closed. Other dabs of red are found on his 
cheeks, but no nose is indicated, and the impression one gets is that 
of a dead man. 
Of the rest of the scene little can be made out except a small white 

Plate 53 figure with short legs, a plump torso and raised arms, another small 

white figure and two groups of white, red and black lines which defy 
interpretation in their present state. Of the paintings along the south 



47 Earliest paintings on the north and east walls of the Vulture Shrine, Vtt.8. See Plates 45-48 

wall only the legs of some figures painted in red are preserved, but 
they show that figures at least 18 cms in height were once painted on 
that wall. The state of preservation of the figures on the main panels 
of the east wall is most unsatisfactory, and only the upper part of a 
small red male figure now survives among a number of fragments of 
white persons or objects. To the right of the northern posts, decor- 
ated in one phase with black geometric patterns and later covered 
with red and white paint, a small standing figure of a woman in a 
leopard-skin dress, red necklace and red anklets is all that survived. 
Over the north-east platform remains of a hunting (?) scene fallen 
from the north wall on to the floor of the shrine could at least be 
drawn in reconstruction. Four male figures, wearing white garments 
and animal skins, are shown moving towards an unintelhgible scene 
on the left, which looks like an animal (bear ?) trapped in a net. 
Beyond it another male figure extends a hand towards an animal 
head (?) and beyond that is a solid mass of red paint. There is evidence 
that the west wall of this shrine had also been ornamented with 
paintings, of which only specks survived. The destruction of this 


Quid Hiiyiik 

building, which was directly below the surface of tlie mound is 
most regrettable, for it is one of the very few decorated with a 
series of scenes in which human beings played a prominent part. 

The only other wall-painting from a building of Level IV (A.IV. i) 
was found on the central post of its north wall. It is only a fragment 

Pl ate 52 but shows two running male figures and the now-headless figure of 

a bull, in front of the bull are the remains of a third human figure 
which is running or has fallen and is the object of the bull's attack. 
The other traces of indistinct figures belong to an almost obliterated 
later painting, the subject of which is no longer clear. The tall slender 
bodies, the long heads, the line of the hair shown in black are all 
similar to the human figures in shrine E.IV.i and would seem to be 
characteristic of a style of paintings in building-levels IV and III. 

Remains of a small but lively hunting scene were found on the 
walls of room A.III.13. Here a stag, accompanied by two fawns (one 

Plates 56, 57 is lost but for its hind-legs), is pursued by a hunter and his dog. The 

man is shown at the point of releasing an arrow from Iris bow and the 
schematized rendering of the body has nevertheless captured this 
moment of haste and tension. His legs are bent and bis animal-skin is 
floating behind him in the rush of action. The representation of a dog 
is the only proof for domestication of this animal at £atal Hiiyiik. 
This painting was later coated with white plaster and part of it 
covered with a black and white kilim pattern. 
Next to the small room with the hunting-scene lay the remains of a 

Fig. 48 large shrine (A.III.i), which has yielded some of the finest wall- 

paintings yet found at £atal Hiiyiik. These are also the latest, dating 
from about 5800 or a little after; let us say the first quarter of the 
fifty-eighth century bc. Like many of the buildings found directly 
below the surface of the mound this shrine had suffered much from 
Hellenistic intrusions which had damaged the greater part of the 
east and west wall. Its antechamber, decorated with a large deer- 
hunt, was remodelled after a fire and the wall-painting was cut back 
by an unknown amount. Only the greater part of the north wall with 
its painting of a bull was more or less intact, but this painting had 
suffered from roots and animal holes and had faded more than any 
other in the building. 


4S Restoration of the main room of shrine A.III.i. See Plates 61-64 

The south wall of the antechamber bore the scene of a deer-hunt 
painted in monochrome red without any additions in other colours. 
It measured c. 1-5 metres in its present truncated state and was re- 
painted four times with exactly the same pattern. The painting, now 

che Ankara Archaeological Museum, is the second of the four (the 
first was badly destroyed and most fragmentary) and as this was the 
first wall-painting to be found at £atal Hiiyuk, we are much indebted 
to Mr Ernest Hawkins, the Byzantologist, for his help and teaching 
us how to remove a wall-painting from a burnt mud-brick wall. 

The scene shows five or six men, of different sizes, some naked and 
others dressed in animal-skins which project stiffly from the waist, 
armed with bows, slings or maces and a lasso (?), attacking a herd of 
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus). The herd consists of three stags, two does 
and two young fawns fleeing to the right of the picture. Many of the 
animals turn their heads towards their pursuers and in the bottom 

Plates 54, 55, XI 



Qatal Huyiik 

register a fine stag has been brought down by two of the men who are 
apparently preparing to kill it, while the leader of the hunt, drawn to 
a larger scale, fixes his attention on another large stag, above which 
a fragmentary small man appears. Two others are shooting arrows 
at the does. The scene is extremely lively even if the naturalism of the 
animals is tempered by pictorial stylization. Built into the new south 
wall of the room was a fragment, probably derived from the same 
scene, showing the feet of another large deer. It is unfortunately 
unknown how much of this painting has been lost, for it is conceiv- 
able that it covered not only the south but also the west wall of the 
antechamber before the alterations. 

The south wall of the main room of the shrine had no ■wall-paint- 
ings, but a single stag was painted on the southernmost portion of 
the east wall on the middle panel some 61 cms above the floor. 
The lower panel was deeply recessed, and on its north wall remains 
were found of a painting in black, red and white, which, with 

Plate 58 some ingenuity, could be restored into a fine stag's head, but this 

restoration is by no means certain. 

The north wall of the building was decorated with a wall painting 

Fig. 48 of which a great bull, 2-05 metres in length, occupied the centre. Its 

feet were painted on the lower panel and have not survived. Sur- 

Plates 61, 62, 64 rounding the bull a number of running male figures were drawn, 

armed with bows and dressed in animal-skins. These were not only 
fragmentary, but in many cases their colours had faded and there 
were traces of over-painting. Two of these figures, one between the 
curving horns of the bull, the other far behind him, are painted half 

Plate 62 red, half white. The first figure wears a red animal skin and is armed 

with a bow, the second wears a pink leopard skin with black spots 
and is waving a club or mace, and both are headless. The other 
hunters painted red originally had heads, though some have lost 
them as the paintings deteriorated. 

Towards the west end of the north wall a group of hunters, 
including the headless figure in the leopard skin, are turned towards 
another animal, smaller than the large bull, that was painted on the 
west wall. Fragments of two hunters appear near his hind quarters 
and between them and two others are a number of red lines which 




may represent a net or stockade. This originally extended much 
further down, but as its fragments were found in a Hellenistic pit 
which had cut away the north-west corner (and most of the brick- 
work of the west wall) restoration, even on paper, remains somewhat 
uncertain. It seems extremely likely that a second and smaller bull 
surrounded by hunters once occupied the west wall up to the door- 
way. The entire scene of what is almost certainly a bull hunt (and not 
a scene of bull-worship) still measures 5-5 metres in its truncated 
state and was probably another metre or so in length originally. This 
painting was the earliest one on the north and west wall and thus 
dates from the earliest occupation of the shrine. Traces of repainting 
were found among the figures surrounding the big bull and patches 
of solid red paint covered the net and the hindquarters of the 
second animal. What they represented can no longer be ascertained. 

The east wall of this shrine was originally decorated with a great 
panel 3-4 metres in length and 66 cms in height, set some 61 cms 
above the level of the two main platforms, and extending from the 
north-east corner to the wooden post. It showed scenes of dancing in Plate 61 

connection with a deer hunt and not less than twenty-four human 
figures are wholly or partly preserved out of an unknown number. 
Of this exciting wall-painting only a large fragment (about 91 cms 
in length) was still in situ at the north end of the wall together with 
two other fragments, one along the top edge of the panel with the 
antler of one deer and the head of a second and four human figures, 
the second along its southern edge (1-2 metres in length) below the 
second stag. This piece had slipped into a Hellenistic trench together Plate 63 

with numerous other fragments when the trench became water- 
logged. The arrangement of the small fragments in connection with 
the larger pieces, though based on the position in which they were 
found is therefore reconstruction rather than fact, but the result is 
entirely convincing. What we do not know is whether more figures 
were originally present in the open spaces left in the reconstruction, 
since, if there were originally more, their fragments have perished. 

On the major fragment of the wall-painting three successive layers 
of painting were clearly recognizable: first, the earliest and best 
preserved, then a middle one with larger figures ranning towards the 


Qatal Hiiyuk 

right and a third and latest painting with two rather lifeless figures 
depicted in reddish-brown. In style these latest figures resemble some 
of those painted around the great bull, but they do not appear to be 
contemporary, as the bull-hunt is undoubtedly of the same period as 
the earliest deer-hunt. The latest of the three paintings on this wall 
being in monochrome and in a different style, was easy to recognize. 
A man in an animal-skin is shown holding two bows and behind him 
is a second man with a small animal (dog ?) before him. Nowhere 
else on this wall were further fragments of this paintmg found. 

The middle painting is in polychrome and shows extremely lively 
figures larger than those of the lowest layer, running at great speed 
towards the right. They are dressed in pink leopard-skins with black 
spots and wear bonnets of the same material. Most of them are armed 
with bows or club. The object of their attention are probably the 
deer, which seem to have been repainted once. A number of figures 
of this phase are preserved in patches only over earlier ones, alas not 
enough to complete this scene, but it may be assumed that groups 
of hunters running towards the deer from both sides formed its 

The earliest painting is also the best preserved. The major frag- 
Pl ate 6l ment shows a scene that should probably be interpreted as a dance of 

the hunters. With the exception of two figures in the bottom register, 
a drummer and a bowman with raised sling, all the figures are 
shown proceeding to the left in three superimposed rows. The three 
figures in the middle row (there may have been more originally) 
are larger in size and the first is painted half red, half white, and 
is headless like the third figure winch is all white except for a 
leopard-skin on the shoulder. The middle figure wears a white 
loin-cloth as well as a leopard-skin (pink with black spots) in which 
all figures except two naked acrobats are dressed. Similarly all figures 
wear berets of leopard-skin. They are armed with bows and slings 
and one figure in the top row is shown holding a small animal, 
possibly a dog. It appears that the dance takes place around the 
central figure in the middle and its purpose is possibly to insure die 
success of the hunt which is shown in the same panel further to 
the right. Here two stags and a fawn are shown, as well as a number 


of hunters all dressed in the same garb, and except one at the very end 
of the picture, all moving towards the left. No headless figures are 
found here, but one man placed below the stag in the middle of the 
scene is differently dressed in a pale yellow skin with white borders 
(lion- or deer-skin ?). Towards the far end of the painting a number 
of inexplicable objects appear ; a skin (?) in front of the man below the 
second deer, deer's tracks (?) behind him and beyond that a poly- 
chrome design and two grinning human (?) heads above. Their 
meaning is obscure, but they tend to remind us that the wall-paint- 
ings at £atal Hiiyuk were not art for art's sake, but had a ritual 

Two important questions remain to be answered: the relationship 
between the bull and the deer-hunt and the identity of the headless 
figures found in both paintings. Although it seems unlikely that 
bull and deer-hunt were painted by the same person it is probable 
that they are of the same date and it is by no means impossible that 
the two scenes are meant to be seen as one painting symbolizing the 
hunt. They more or less flow into each other and it will not have 
escaped notice that in the dancing scene the majority of the partici- 
pants advance towards the left, i.e. towards the bull, who for sheer 
size and magnificence dominates the entire composition. In a way the 
deer on the right are balanced by the second animal on the far left, 
and in both hunts we find the mysterious headless harlequins. When 
we compare these with the headless corpses of the vulture paintings, 
the interpretation of these figures as dead ancestors may gain some 
credence. That great hunters of the past were invoked to partake in 
the hunting-rites of the living does not strain one's credulity and the 
only way of indicating their status was to show them headless and 
parti-coloured. As it seems extremely unlikely that the entire popula- 
tion, or even all the males, were dressed in leopard-skins, we may 
assume that the hunters here represented were a small section of the 
populace entitled to this ceremonial dress, in other words the 
priesthood. It seems unlikely that at this period the entire able 
manhood of Qatal Hiiyuk, which must run into the thousands, 
partook in annual hunting-rites and it is far more likely that the 
conduct of such rites was entrusted to a select body of priests. That 


Plate XIII 

Fig. 48 


(^atal Huyiik 

this shrine was devoted to the hunt seems beyond reasonable doubt 
and it may be significant that the second shrine nearby was entirely 
decorated with floral symbols and kilims, symbols of agriculture and 
weaving, occupations pre-eminently associated with women. Nor is 
it probably a coincidence that the shrine of Level II was built on top 
of this latter building and that stamp-seals and grain as well as nine 
female statuettes should have been found in the building, which may 
have still been reserved for women. The hunting-shrine of Level III 
soon lost its early decoration and about thirty to thirty-five layers of 
white plaster covered its paintings, which belonged to the first years 
of its use. In Level II the shrine was not rebuilt and with the decline 
in hunting came the decay of the obsidian industry in Level II. 
Sometime during the fifty-eighth century bc agriculture finally 
triumphed over the age old occupation of hunting and with it the 
power of woman increased: this much is clear from the almost total 
disappearance of male statues in the cult, a process which, beginning 
in (Jatal Huyuk II, reaches its climax in the somewhat later cultures 
of Hacilar. 

Wall-painting also came to an end and the painting of pottery 
took its place, but with the greatly reduced space for painting 
animals, deities and figures were broken down and stylized almost 
beyond recognition in the 'fantastic style' of Hacilar ; only hands and 
textile patterns survived unchanged for another five hundred years. 

Plates 59, 60 There remains but a single wall-painting to be described, which 

more than any other illustrates the artistic genius of the people of 
£atal Huyiik. Painted on the north and east wall of a shrine (VII. 14) 
of Level VII, soon after 6200 bc according to radiocarbon dating, it 
represents that rarest genre of early painting, a landscape and needless 
to say it is unique. In the foreground is shown a town with rect- 
angular houses of varying sizes with internal structures reminiscent 
of Qatal Hiiyiik houses clearly indicated. Each house has its own walls 
and they are placed one next to the other without any open spaces. 
The rows of houses rise in terraces up to the top of the mound (as in 
the section of Level VI B and no doubt VII also). 

Beyond the town and much smaller as if far away, rises a double 
peaked mountain covered with dots and from its base parallel lines 



extend. More lines erupt from its higher peak and more dots are 
grouped beyond its right slope and in horizontal rows above its 
peak, interspersed with horizontal and vertical lines. A clearer picture 
of a volcano in eruption could hardly have been painted: the fire 
coming out of the top, lava streams from vents at its base, clouds of 
smoke and glowing ash hanging over its peak and raining down on 
and beyond the slopes of the volcano are all combined in this paint- 
ing. It is not difficult to localize this picture; Hasan Dag (10,673 feet) 
is the only twin peaked volcano in Central Anatolia and it lies at the 
eastern end of the Konya Plain, within view of (Jatal Hiiyuk. 
The Central Anatolian volcanoes became extinct only in the second 
millenmum bc. Moreover, these volcanoes and Hasan Dag especially, 
were the source of much raw material, in particular that of obsidian, 
for Qatal Hiiyuk, a source from which the site probably derived 
much of its wealth. It may be surmised that it was not only for its 
great cutting power, its transparency, reflective power and its jet 
black appearance that this material was so highly prized. Its volcanic 
and thus chthonic origin would have linked it to the underworld, the 
place of the dead, and it was a true gift of mother earth, and therefore 
imbued with magical potency. These considerations may help in 
explaining why an artist late in the seventh millennium bc recorded 
the wonder and awe of a volcanic eruption against the foreground of 
the town of Catal Hiiyuk on the wall of one of its shrines. If the 
picture is unique so was the occasion and probably only at (Jatal 
Hiiyiik had Neolithic people reached the necessary degree of civil- 
ization or possessed the artistic genius to record such an event for 

Plate I 



Sculpture in the Round 

Besides the wall-paintings and plaster reliefs that decorate the 
majority of shrines and a number of houses, the people of Qatal 
Hiiyuk practised sculpture in the round in the form of stone and clay 
statuettes depicting their deities in anthropomorphic or near- 
anthropomorphic form. None of these is more than 30 cms in 
height and most are considerably smaller, varying from 5 to 20 cms 
on the average. The materials out of which such small cult statues 
were fashioned vary from terracotta to soft calcite, chalk, pumice 
and alabaster and from limestone to volcanic rocks and white marble. 
Bone tools were used for modelling, obsidian and flint tools cut the 
rock. For poHshing, sand, crushed volcanic glass (obsidian) and 
perhaps emery were available, but all these raw materials with the 
exception of clay had to be brought from beyond the limits of 
the Konya Plain. The techniques were probably the same as those for 
the preparation of polished axes and adzes, maceheads, stone vessels, 
pendants and beads, and much labour could be saved by carefully 
choosing suitable boulders out of which the statues were to be cut. 
Like many artists from the Upper Palaeolithic to the present, those 
of Qatal Hiiyiik appreciated the weird and suggestive shapes of 
natural rock formations, stalactites, stalagmites, limestone concretions 
or strangely weathered stones. It does not require an overdose of 
imagination to imagine a host of deities, humans or petrified animals 
in the grandeur of one of the stalagmitic caves, of which plenty were 
available in the Taurus Mountains. That Neolithic people visited 
such caves is clear from the fact that broken-ofF stalactites were 
deposited in the shrines together with cult statues on every occasion. 
Many indeed resemble clusters of breasts, udders or even human 
figures and it was obviously because of this resemblance, however 
remote to us, that they were collected and carried back to the shrines. 


Sculpture in the Round 

On more than one occasion, a resemblance was enhanced by some 

elementary sculpting. A block of limestone resembling a male riding 

an animal had a head carved on it; in another case a fearful image was 

created by carving a fine head on a knobbly limestone concretion. Plate 65 

Limestone pebbles and boulders have incised features which turn Plate 69 

them into shapes strangely resembling modern sculpture. 

Often a little carving suffices to turn a pebble into a schematic Plate 72 

seated goddess, but far more often naturalistic figures are carved 
out of a block of stone that can have had no previous resemblance to 
the final product. It would be utterly wrong to assume a line of 
typological development from aniconic, semi-aniconic to naturalistic 
image at least for this Early Neolithic period at £atal Hiiyiik. All 
three forms occur side by side in the same buildings and a typological 
approach can only lead to chaos and misunderstanding. What strikes 
one most in the stone sculpture of this site is its diversity and the lack 
of what might be called a dominant style. A further factor to be 
borne in mind is the sacredness of a cult image. Unlike the wall- 
paintings which were covered with plaster or the reliefs which were 
desecrated when a shrine was filled in, cult-statues were not left in a 
shrine "when it was abandoned. They were removed and taken to 
another shrine and carefully preserved like the cult-statues in our 
churches. As the result, it is quite as possible theoretically to find cult- 
statues, made let us say in Level VIII, in a shrine of Level VI as it is to 
find a Romanesque sculpture of the Crucifixion or a Flemish primi- 
tive in a Baroque church. The building in which it is found does not 
necessarily date the object. As many of the Qatal Hiiyiik statues are 
made of very durable stone, it is theoretically possible that many are 
much older than the buildings in which they were preserved as heir- 
looms, still magically potent, of a more remote past. It is therefore 
possible to argue that many of the stalactites, semi-aniconic figures, 
schematic figures, etc., need not be contemporary with the fine 
naturalistic statues with which they are found, but may be the 
remains of much earlier periods. On the other hand, such a procedure 
is arbitrary and is based on the preconceived idea of a typological 
development for which we have as yet no evidence whatsoever. The 
only proper solution to this problem is the location of the workshops 


Qatal Hiiyiik 

in which the statues were made and only then will it be possible to 
establish a firm chronological sequence. In the meantime we must 
accept the possibility that stylistically utterly different types of 
statues were produced side by side. In Late Neolithic Hacilar VI we 
again find highly naturalistic clay statues side by side with menhir- 
like slabs of stone. Both show the same treatment of hair, eyes and 
nose and they are evidently contemporary with each other, in spite 
of the primitive crudity of the work in stone. Different functions, 
unfamiliarity with a new material and a quantity of other unknown 
factors may account for such stylistic discrepancies. Such factors are 
more likely to mislead the art-historian than the archaeologist, who 
is less concerned with grouping and stylistic classification than with 
the general cultural context. 

From the context in which these statues are found it is clear that 
they served as cult-statues in the shrines and embodied the various 
deities, or aspects of deities, worshipped by the Neolithic population. 
With very few exceptions, these statues only occur in shrines in 
contrast to crude clay figurines, mainly of animals but including 
clumsy and highly schematized human figures, that are never found 
inside shrines but are stuck between the bricks or walls of shrines or 
occur in groups in pits near them. The contrast between statuettes 
and crude figurines is not only artistic but functional, and whereas the 
first probably represent cult-statues the second are ex-voto figurines 
left by worshippers or, as in the case of wounded and intentionally 

Plate 66 broken animal figurines, substitute representations of game magically 

killed or disabled in a hunting ritual. 

The cult statuettes found in the shrines are a most valuable source 
for the reconstruction of Neolithic religion at £atal Hiiyiik, and in 
contrast to most other Neolithic sites they do not entirely consist of 
'Mother Goddesses', but also show a male deity. Moreover, many of 
these statuettes occur in groups, carved in the same material and 
sometimes with stylistic affinities, possibly made by the same sculptor. 
They are anything but uniform and one definitely has the impression 
that different aspects of the deities are stressed. Various ages, hieros 
gamos (ritual marriage), pregnancy, birth, command over wild 
animals, etc., are all clearly defined and many of the statuettes tell a 

1 80 

Sculpture in the Round 

story besides simply representing the goddess or the god; they refer 
to a certain episode in the life of the deities or they more clearly 
define a well-known association. This explicitness is a characteristic 
of both £atal Hiiyuk and Hacilar and may have been typical of 
Neolithic Anatolian religion in general. 

To avoid a tedious and lengthy description of the fifty or so 
statuettes discovered at (patal Hiiyuk so far, they have been listed 
together with information on the material of which they are made, 
their height and findspot on pp. 202-3 . From the same list it is evi- 
dent that statues of a female deity far outnumber those of the male 
deity, who moreover, does not appear to be represented at all after 
Level VI. Most of the statuettes from the early levels (VII, VI) were 
carved in stone, whereas in the later levels (IV-II) the majority are 
modelled in clay and baked. The features are generally more natura- 
listically rendered and this naturalism is evidently the result of a long 
tradition of modelling in clay. Coarser clay figurines already appear 
in Level IX, remaining virtually unchanged throughout the period. 

Characteristic of (Jatal Huyiik is the representation of deities in 

human form where cult statuettes are concerned, whereas in the 

plaster sculpture and wall-painting only the goddess is thus portrayed. 

There can be little doubt that the Neolithic people of Qatal Huyiik 

conceived their deities in human form endowed with supernatural 

power over their attributes and symbols taken from a familiar animal 

world. As a symbol of male fertility an aurochs bull or a large ram 

was more impressive than man himself and the power of wild life 

and death was suitably symbolized in the leopard, the largest and 

fiercest wild animal in the region; in the destructive ferocity of the 

boar or in the impressive spectacle of flocks of Griffon vultures. 

Nothing suggests that these animals themselves were regarded as 

gods. Just as Neolithic man had learned (or was learning) to dominate 

nature through anirnal domestication and agriculture, so the power of 

his deities over wild life was clearly expressed in his sculpture. 

T 1 1 n - 1 r 1 11 Plates 67, 68, IX; 

Leopards support the goddess m her confinement; leopard-cubs rest Fi g 

on her shoulders and leopard-skins clothe her. Two goddesses plate 87; Fig. 50 

of different age stand behind leopards, patting their backs, and the pi 6 x 

boy-god is shown riding another, a convincing picture of the Divine Plate 86 



f atal Hiiyiik 

Fig. 26 

Plates 18-20, VI 

Fig. 23 

4g Clay statuette of a 
goddess holding two 
leopard cubs. From 
shrine A.III. 1 

Family; mother, daughter and son as Mistresses and Master of wild 
animals. A similar scene decorated the west wall of shrine VII. 8 
and a pair of leopards, male and female, modelled in relief and 
painted was found in shrine VLB and A.44. In another case, shrine 
VII. 1, a bull and a cow take the place of leopards and the emphasis 
here may be on a domesticated or domesticable species. 

The frequency with which the goddess is shown associated with 
wild animals probably reflects her ancient role as the provider of 
game for a hunting population, and as patroness of the hunt. Her 
statuettes alone were found in the hunting shrine of Level III. 
Animal figurines, wounded or maimed hi effigy during a hunting 
ritual, were found in pits near shrines VLB. 12 and IV.4, both of 
which contained plaster reliefs or statuettes of goddesses. Her 
association with possibly domesticated animals has been noted and 
her power over plant life and hence agriculture is clear not only 

50 Painted clay figure q, 
a goddess. From shrine 
VI.A.61. See Plate 79 

Sculpture in the Round 


Si Painted day statuette of a 
goddess in a leopard skin dress. 
From shrine E.IV.4 

from, the numerous representations of floral and vegetable patterns, 
painted on her figure or in her shrines, but also from the association 
of her statuettes in heaps of grain and crucifers in shrine VI. A.44 
(the Leopard Shrine) and the discovery of the birth-giving goddess 
in a grain-bin of the Level II shrine. Here again the presence of the 
statue suggests a rite of sympathetic magic. The decoration of the 
second shrine of Level III, ornamented entirely with floral patterns 
or textile designs, suggests that she was regarded as much as an 
agrarian deity as a patroness of weaving, innovations of supreme 
importance for the Neolithic period. Her association with life has 
its inevitable counterpart in her association with death. She is shown 
giving birth to a son, represented in human form or as a bull or 
ram in the numerous shrines, and the immediately preceding stage, 
pregnancy, is as much in evidence in the statuettes as in the plaster 
reliefs. As a probable goddess of death, she is accompanied by a bird 
of prey, possibly a vulture and her grim expression suggests old age, 
the crone of later mythology. Her symbols of death, vultures, are 
frequently represented in early shrines (see pp. i66f.), and an elaborate 
symbolism, foreshadowing the words 'in the midst of life there is 
death', finds plastic expression in mother's breasts which incorporate 
skulls of vultures, fox and weasel or the lower jaws of boars with 
enormous tusks, eminently symbolic of the scavengers which thrive 
on death.. A firm belief in afterlife is well attested by the burial 
customs and amulets of the goddess (highly stylized and graded in 
diminishing sizes like the similar Magdalenian figures from Petersfels 

Plate 79; Fig. 50 
Plates 67, 68 

Plates 31-34 

Plates 67, 68, IX; 
Fig. 52 

Plate 77; Fig. 53 
Plates 80, 82 


$2 Clay statuette of a goddess 
supported by leopards giving 
birth. From a grain-bin in shrine 
A.ILi. See Plates 67, 68, IX 

Plate 81 

Plate 65 

Plate 83 

in Baden) which covered the neck of a red-ochre burial in Level IV. 
Other amulets show bulls' heads representing the male deity. So even 
in death the protection of the deities was sought and the care of the 
dead suggests the idea of resurrection, the denial of death, the tenet of 
all religion. The stalactite goddess probably also stresses the idea 
of chthonic power and the underworld. 

If the goddess presided over all the various activities of the life and 
death of the Neolithic population of £atal Htiyiik, so in a way did her 
son. Even if his role is strictly subordinate to hers, the male's role in 
life appears to have been fully realized. A small stone plaque shows a 
couple in embrace on the left and mother with child, the offspring 
of the union on the right. The birth of a god is frequently portrayed 

53 Complete clay statuette of a 
seated goddess. From shrine 



84, 85 Male deities, though not as prominent as their female counterpart, are still a feature of 
neolithic £atal Huyiik. The proud adolescent figure, dove, found with the Death Goddess and 
her vulture in shrine VI.A.25, seems characteristic of the confidence, pride and virility of the male at 
£atal Huyiik, still a figure to be reckoned with and not yet entirely subservient to the wiles of 
women, as at Hacilar. The second white marble figure, below, shows a seated male wearing a cap 
of leopard skin and multiple bracelets worn above the elbow. Presumably he represents an aspect 
of hunting, which alone was responsible for the presence of an independent male deity in the 
neolithic of Catal Huyiik 

86-91 Of die six statuettes illustrated here only one is 
definitely female, above right. Made of baked clay it repre- 
sents a young woman dressed in a blouse of leopard skin 
and a fringed woollen skirt and was found in shrine A.II.i. 
Four of the five male gods shown are seated on animals: the 
boy god, above left, part of the group in Plates 73-76 has 
already been described; a bearded male seated on a bull, 
left, from the Leopard Shrine (VI.A.44), and the white 

alcite figure on a bull from shrine VII.21, the rear view of 
which is shown, above. The blue limestone bearded god on a 
boll, right, was found in shrine VI. A. 10 together with the 
figure, above right, of a person in a long garment. Two of 
male figures are bearded and therefore probably represent 
the Goddess's husband, whereas the younger figures 
probably represent her son, the boy god, or her adolescent 

92, 93 The people of neolithic Qatal Huyiik buried their dead below the platforms of houses, above, 
and shrines, opposite, alike,. but only after the flesh had decomposed or had been removed by 
vultures or other natural agents. The bones, still in anatomical context, were wrapped up in cloth, 
or matting, and then deposited in earth graves below the platforms of their ancient homes. When 
a building was inhabited for a length of time, several burials would take place one on top of the 
other (house VLB.34, above) often leading to the disturbance of earlier skeletons. In other cases, 
shrine VI.8, opposite, individual skeletons with their funerary gifts are easily disentangled 

94> 95 In one unusual burial 
in shrine VI. i, the brains had 
been removed from the skull 
and a wad of fine cloth sub- 
stituted, above. As the build- 
ing above was destroyed by 
fire the action of the heat was 
sufficient to ensure carboniz- 
ation of the material. A burial 
from shrine VI.7, below, has 
as a bracelet, dentaliurn beads 
and a red-painted basket as 
grave goods 

96, 97 Above, burials 
found below the main 
(female) platform of 
house E.I V.i with the 
latest burial semi-intact 
on the left and a row of 
displaced earlier skulls 
beyond. Below, a 
woman's skull decor- 
ated with a broad band 
of cinnabar from shrine 
VI.B.20, one of the 
relatively few ochre- 

98-Z02 Male and female funeral gifts. Above, a fine collar of boar's tusk, incised and perforated 
from a female bunaln, house VH.IZ A bone spatula ending in a human hand and a bone booS 
oame from a female hum ,n house IV.! i. Below, finely polished bone belt-hooks and an eye for 

fTl \ 1 T W t "? b , Uria,S " **- VI ' A ind B ' 20 - ^ ** a two pronged 

fork and, Man, rg/u, two spatnlae from houses A.III.2, B.D., and shrine EJV 4 respectively 

103, 104 Above, a bracelet of red and 
white small stone beads, blue and white 
limestone tubular beads and six deer 
teeth from the burial of a woman in 
house IX. I. Right, a necklace of black 
limestone beads and large beads of lead, 
from the burial of a young woman in 
shrine VI. A. io 


105-108 In many instances wooden vessels were extremely well preserved at £atal Hiiyiik VI, not 
only in graves, but some even in burnt buildings, below. The most outstanding products are boxes 
with closely fitting lids, above, rectangular (from shrine VI.A.i) or oval (from shrine These 
were carved out of blocks of wood without any joinery or gluing. The lids are usually provided 




.**'*■'&* ■'!■'. 

with a small lug which serves as a handle (below). Handles were also carved on the large oval meat 
dish, opposite below, from shrine VL61, nearly 50 cm. long. Oval bowls were very common, the 
oval box above, came from shrine VI. 10, and they varied in shape and depth, some were like sauce- 
boats, others boat-shaped 


" -■ 

■**' . .'■ 


■'■1 %tT " ' ■■ *~ » ■ # * r* ■■ Wk 




I09-H2 Three examples of pottery and a stone vessel from 
(patal Hiiyuk: a straight-sided cream burnished bowl from 
Level II, above left; a dark burnished ware cooking pot with 
two ledge handles from house IV. 8, centre, and ajar on four 
feet from house A.III.14, below, decorated with faint dia- 
gonal stripes of paint. Stone vessels were a luxury at Qatal 
Hiiyiik, a good example is the spouted dish of red sand- 
stone, above, from shrine VI.A.8 

1 1 3-1 15 Among the many weapons at Qatal Hiiyiik, skilfully 
chipped in obsidian and flint, a group of daggers is outstanding. A 
simple flint dagger, above, was found in its leather sheath in the 
storeroom of house VT.B.28. Two other daggers in flint are 
pressure-flaked on one side, smooth on the other, right, both were 
offerings from shrine VI. A. 14. A group of long obsidian arrow- 
heads, below, lay in a bag next to the legbones of a male skeleton 
in shrine VLB. 20 as funerary gifts 

ii(5-ii 8 Textile fragments from burials in shrine 
VI.A.5. Ahov e, cloth tapes served to tie up the bundles 
wrapped in cloth; centre, woollen cloth with tabby 
weave covered a long bone of one of the skeletons 
in a shrine, but apart from this plain woven cloth 
there were other weaves such as the shawl or fish net 
weave of the piece shown below 

119 Coiled baskets occur in all building-levels of neolithic 
Catal Huyiik and they served every possible purpose; they 
ware used for gathering food, for the storage of grain, 
contained jewellery and toilet articles or were used for 
burials of infants, children and even adults, right, from 
siirine VI.B.20 

120 Rushes were in common use as a floor covering, 
but they were usually placed below woven mats, 
made from marsh grass which produced a very fine 
weave. Both are visible in the floor covering of 
shrine VT.A.14, left, with carbonized matting on the 
left and the white decayed reeds on the right 

I2i Baked clay seals are a prominent feature of the neolithic at Qatal Hiiyuk and they occur from 
Level VI B to Level I. They have a flat lower surface and bear incised patterns, among which spirals 
and especially meanders or mcandroids are most common. Most are oval, round or sub-rectangular 
but one exhibits a flower shape, so common from the textile paintings. They could have been used 
tor stamping patterns on plain cloth rather than for painting the human skin, as is often assumed 

Plates 84, 86 

Plate 85 

Plates 88, 89, 91 

Plates 73-76, X 

Plates 70, 71 
Fig. 32 

Plate 90 

Sculpture in the Round 
in the shrines and once in a statuette. Differences in age distinguish 
between the god as son (the boy god on the leopard, the adolescent 
god) ; the hunter in a leopard skin cap or the consort-husband, who is 
shown bearded and seated on his symbol, the bull. 

This same distinction in age is made a number of times in represent- 
ing the goddess as mother or daughter (the group with the leopards, 
the pair from the leopard shrine in black volcanic stone) or, occasion- 
ally as a twin figure which finds a parallel in the large twin plaster 
goddess on the west wall of shrine VI. 14. Here the idea of pairs is 
twice shown; one of the two goddesses gives birth to a large and a 
small bull's head, son and consort. In other cases age is shown by 
absence of breasts, more mature contours, hood and cloak, etc., all 
of which would be immediately obvious to Neolithic people. 

The divine family then was patterned on that of man; and the four 
aspects are in order of importance: mother, daughter, son and 
father. The question now arises whether Neolithic people wor- 
shipped these as four divinities or as two, for mother and daughter 
(or perhaps girl and mother) are but two aspects of the concept 
woman; son and father that of man. It would be extremely difficult 
to decide in this matter, but the general feeling one gets from the 
material favours the existence of but two deities: the Great Goddess 
and her son and paramour. Later parallels from Crete and Bronze 
Age Greece would tend to confirm this conception of the Divine 
family (Demeter, Kore or Persephone, and child Ploutos, as in the 
case of the exquisite ivory from the acropolis at Mycenae), the 
reference to the 'Two Ladies' in the Knossos texts and the dual role 
of Cretan Zeus, Phrygian Attis and Phoenician Adonis, associated 
with only one main goddess in the pattern of the dying and reviving 
god. It must be emphasized though, that the idea of a dying god does 
not appear to derive originally from Anatolia, and was probably 
unknown in the Anatolian Neolithic. 

What is particularly noteworthy in the Neolithic religion of 
Anatolia, and this applies to £atal Huyiik as much as to Hacilar, 
is the complete absence of sex in any of the figurines, statuettes, 
plaster reliefs or wall-paintings. The reproductive organs are never 
shown, representations of phallus and vulva are unknown, and this 


Qatal Huyuk 

is the more remarkable as they were frequently portrayed both in the 
Upper Palaeolithic and in the Neolithic and Post-neolithic cultures 
outside Anatolia, It seems that there is a very simple answer to this 
seemingly puzzling question, for emphasis on sex in art is invariably 
connected with male impulse and desire. If Neolithic woman was 
the creator of Neolithic religion, its absence is easily explained and a 
different symbolism was created in which breast, navel and preg- 
nancy stand for the female principle, horns and horned animal heads 
for the male. In an early Neolithic society like that of £atal Hiiyuk 
one might biologically expect a greater proportion of women than 
men and this is indeed reflected in the burials. Moreover, in the new 
economy a great number of tasks were undertaken by the women, a 
pattern that has not changed in Anatolian villages to this day, and this 
probably accounts for her social pre-eminence. As the only source 
of life she became associated with the processes of agriculture, with 
the taming and nourishing of domesticated animals, with the ideas 
of increase, abundance and fertility. Hence a religion which aimed 
at exactly that same conservation of life in all its forms, its propaga- 
tion and the mysteries of its rites connected with life and death, 
birth and resurrection, were evidently part of her sphere rather than 
that of man. It seems extremely likely that the cult of the goddess was 
administered mainly by women, even if the presence of male priests 
is by no means excluded, and such rare objects as obsidian mirrors, 
leopard-skins and finely wrought belt-fasteners may have been part 
of the ritual paraphernalia of female and male priests. 

List of Sculptures 

li. limestone; ma. marble (white); sc, schist; ba. basalt or volcanic stone; cl. clay; ca. calcite; al. ala 
Heights are in centimetres. 

Goddess Material cms shrine 

1. Semi-aniconic concretion with head. Chthonic, cave or 

mountain aspect 

2. Pebble figures Pregnant (?) goddess 

3. Kneeling goddess with bird (vulture?) Goddess of death 













troken figure holding something 
~ win. Goddess 

zz -_-5 and god in embrace 

-ess holding child 

ir 3t goddesses 

Mother and child (?) 
Mother and daughter 
Ritual marriage 
Mother and child 
Mother and daughter 

2-r :: goddesses, male child and 

Mother, daughter and 
son as mistress and 
master of animals 
Seated goddess with two leopard cubs Mistress of animals 
el. Seated goddess giving birth 

ieated goddess, dressed in leopard skin (painted) 
landing goddess, dressed in skirt and leopard blouse 
Seated goddess, painted with flowers 
Soaked and hooded goddess 
Goddess with mouth and pendant breasts 
Goddess in flounced robe (?) 
kxJdess seated on something 
Squat goddess 
Crude chalk goddess 
.imiatic seated goddess (no head) 
lematic goddess with arms on breast 
• :ed goddess with crossed legs 
"»'_■- urure seated goddess with crossed legs 
- mg pregnant goddess 
ing goddess 
I-roup of seven seated goddesses 
































i6- 3 





i6- 5 




























Fig. 49 

67, 68, IX 

Fig. so 




Fig- S3 

Said god riding leopard 
descent god seated on stool 
Bed god with leopard cap 

:d, bearded 
:-d on bull 
irded god on bull 

j~aniconic god on animal 
1 (?) god on bull (?) fragment 

Master of animals li. 5-5 73-76, 86 

Son of goddess ma. 21-5 VIA.25 84 

Son and hunter ma. 12-0 85 

Consort al. 9-8 VIA.44 

Consort (?) ca. c. 19-0 VII.21 89 

Consort (?) al. 10.7 VIA.44 88 

Consort (?) li. u-o 91 

Consort (?) li. io-o VII.24 

ca. 6-0 VI.23 


Burial-customs and Grave-goods 


ihe neolithic people of Qatal Huyuk buried their dead below 
the platforms of houses and shrines and only rarely below any 
other part of the floor. No burials have been found in storerooms or 
courtyards and extramural burial, such as was found at aceramic 
Hacilar c. 7000 bc, was apparently unknown at Qatal Hiiyuk. 

It is now clear that secondary burial was practised at this site, i.e. 
the skeletons were stripped of soft tissues before burial inside the 
dwellings, probably not just for simple reasons of hygiene but 
part of a highly developed pattern of rites of passage. Upon death the 

Plate 8 corpse of the deceased was probably removed to a mortuary outside 

the settlement where vultures cleaned the corpses down to the bones 
and dry ligaments. Presumably the dead were exposed on platforms, 
accessible to the birds and insects, but not to dogs and other scaven- 
gers which carry off bones. Evidently care was taken to preserve 
the skeleton intact in anatomical position and a check was kept on 
their identity. Whether this was the duty of the relatives or that of a 
special class of undertakers is of course not known, but the former 
seems more likely. To strip the flesh of the unborn child found in 
shrine VI. 14 other methods were evidently used, such as immersion 
in a pot of water for only in this way could the minute bones survive 
intact. In a fair number of skeletons the brain was still in the skulls, 

Plate 94 but in one instance it was removed and a ball of fine cloth substituted. 

It seems extremely likely that the burial of the dead coincided with 
the annual spring or early summer redecoration of houses and shrines, 
when the population must have found other quarters for the duration 
of the burial rites, the white-washing and the time required for the 
plaster to dry out thoroughly. This implies that the dead were kept in 
the mortuary until the annual ceremony and it is therefore not 
surprising to find some differences in the state of excarnation of the 


Burial-customs and Grave-goods 

corpses. Some had lost fingers or toe bones or the head had become 

detached whereas others still contained human fat and traces of flesh 

at the time when the burials took place. Some skeletons were more 

or less disjointed whereas others were still anatomically intact with 

not a single bone out of place. From the preservation of perishable 

materials, such as cloth, skin, fur, etc., frequently preserved below the 

skeletons it is clear that they were buried only when they had reached 

a state of complete or near desiccation. Wrapped in cloth or skins 

fastened with cloth straps and leather thongs or fibre rope, the 

skeletons were buried below the platforms at an average depth of 

60 cms, sometimes laid on mats but more often directly in the earth. Plate 119 

The edges of the platforms served as a demarcation line and no burial 

protruded beyond them, but where for lack of space the dead were 

buried below the floor they were put in oval graves. 

No definite orientation was observed, but the head is usually 
turned towards the centre of the building and the feet towards the 
wall. Most, but not all the dead he on their left side in a contracted Plate 93 

position but some are extended on their back with head to the wall 
and feet towards the centre of the room (red-ochre burial in E.IV.8 
and one burial in VLB. 10). In the shrines and houses of Level VI 
(A and B) several layers of burials are not uncommon and later Plate 92 

burials frequently disturbed the bones of earlier interments. In the 
later layers less care seems to have been taken not to disturb earlier 
burials and their bones and skulls are frequently rearranged and 
funeral gifts scattered. Throughout the Early Neolithic period from plate 96 

Level X to I no change in burial-customs seems to have occurred. 

Individual graves are rare. Most houses and shrines served as family 
burial sites and the longer a building was occupied the greater is the 
number of bodies found. The maximum number, thirty-two 
individuals, came from shrine VLB and A. 10, occupied throughout 
Levels VI B and A, but house VLB. 34 yielded not less than twenty- 
eight burials. On the other hand shrine VI.61, also occupied in both 
Levels VI B and VI A, yielded "only thirteen and shrine VLA.25 
a single woman and child. It proves impossible to correlate the 
number of burials, sometimes extending over generations, to the 
length of occupation of a building and the very small number of 


Qatal Huyiik 


dead found in certain buildings, especially in the lower levels 
(DC-VII) or in Level V, makes one wonder where their occupants 
were buried. It is for instance inconceivable that only six deaths took 
place during the 120 years or so that the great vulture shrine (VH.8) 
was used, and this again suggests that shrines were not continually 
used as burying places, but may have been reserved for special 
individuals only. The same question arises in the case of houses, 
where the number of burials seldom suggests that all their occupants 
had been buried in the building. Only one house, VI.B.34, with 
twenty-eight burials over a period of about a century or four 
generations of seven individuals per generation (including small 
children) approaches what one would expect, but in all other build- 
ings of Level VI the number is much less (three burials per house for 
the entire VI B and A period of about 150 years cannot represent all 
the dead). So where are they buried? Only excavation on a much 
larger scale might eventually settle this intriguing problem, winch at 
the moment is insoluble, as a great number of burials in Level VI B 
shrines have not yet been excavated. There remains however one 
possible solution to account for only 229 skeletons of Level VI (A 
and B) in thirteen shrines and eight houses, and that is by assuming 
that the dead buried in the shrines are part of the population of the 
houses (on the assumption that the shrines were occupied only at 
certain times of the year for religious ceremonies). If the 229 burials 
are divided over eight houses, the average of 28 dead occurred per 
house over six generations (or about 150 years, the estimated length 
of Levels VI B and A together). This gives four to five dead per 
generation in each house, which agrees with the size of the building, 
the sleeping space and hence the average size of a family. This would 
mean that more than two-thirds of the population (160 out of 229) 
was buried in the shrines, which confirms our opinion that the entire 
quarter was inhabited by priests and priestesses, who would naturally 
prefer to be buried in hallowed ground. This picture will probablv 
need modification when excavations are resumed and more burials 
are found in shrines and houses of this quarter, so no great reliance 
should be placed on the actual numbers of dead here used for calcu- 
lation. It would be extremely interesting to compare these results 

Burial-customs and Grave-goods 
from the priests quarter with a purely residential area and see if the 
number of dead buried below the houses is considerably greater. 
Evidence from the upper levels cannot be used for comparison as 
there is good reason to show that the area remained a shrine area. 

A further point of considerable interest emerges from a study of the 
skeletons and their burial gifts and that is that those dead buried in 
shrines or probable shrines are generally better provided for than the 
dead buried in the houses. This again suggests that the privileged 
dead buried in the shrines had been people who during life had 
enjoyed affluence, respect or authority; in fact members of a higher 
social order or distinction than their relatives buried in the houses. 
These differences marked as they are, should not be exaggerated; 
even the burials in a number of shrines were by no means richly 
equipped, and bordered on poverty [e.g. shrines VI. 14, 15, 25, 12; 
VII. 1 and 8, etc.). The equipment of the dead was subject to a 
number of considerations: his status in life, his own wishes, the 
respect or covetousness of his relatives, possible religious consider- 
ations, the nature of his death, etc. ; in other words factors which no 
archaeologist can ever hope to distinguish. The greater number of 
burials in houses and shrines alike were not provided with any gifts. 

Out of a total of about 400 skeletons (or parts thereof) only eleven 
may be singled out as ochre-burials, painted with red ochre or 
cinnabar (mercury oxide) on the skull or skull and body. Such 
burials are then far from common, but occur from Levels IX to III 
almost exclusively in shrines. Moreover, most if not all, appear to 
have been of the female sex, but, with some exceptions, their funeral 
gifts, the main item of which was a necklace, are not rich ones 
by £atal Hiiyuk standards. One was a prematurely born infant 
(VI. A. 14), another a mother buried with a child on top of her 
and accompanied by an adze, a flint dagger with chalk pommel, a 
spoon and spatula and some fresh water mussels filled with red 
ochre (VIII. 1). A third, a girl of about seventeen who suffered 
from a broken femur which might have crippled her (IX. 1), was 
created with red ochre all over the body and had cinnabar 
applied to the skull as well. With her were several necklaces and 
some copper and lead beads, the earliest found on the site. Red ochre 


(^atal Hiiyiik 

Plate 97 


also covered the skull and entire upper part of the body of a child 
(E.IV.8) accompanied by a fine necklace of apatite beads of graded 
size in the form of highly schematized goddesses, a bone pin and a 
fine obsidian blade. The skull of a woman with a necklace of sliced 
dentalium beads (VI.B.20) bore a broad band of brilliant cinnabar 
paint. Another red ochre burial in shrine E.1V.4 was provided with 
shells and red painted pebbles. 

Green paint was found on three burials in Levels VI and VII; 
in one case, it covered the bones of a man, in another it had been 
applied to the eyebrows of a female skull (VI.B.20). More common 
than green pigment (malachite ?) was a bright blue azurite paint 
applied to the area around the neck often skeletons, male and female 
in Levels VH and VI. Blue and green apatite beads seem to take the 
place of these copper carbonate pigments in Levels V and IV. 
Gifts with the blue- and green-painted burials were rich in compari- 
son to those of the red-ochre ones, but unlike the latter, they were 
found both in shrines and houses, and were applied to both sexes. 

Two groups of objects, never found in houses but confined to 
burials in shrines, female and male respectively, arc mirrors of ob- 
sidian (Levels VI B to IV) and bone belt-fasteners, possibly connected 
with ceremonial leopard-skin dress (Levels VI B, VI A, and IH?). 
Presumably these should be regarded as attributes of certain priest- 
esses and priests, which would explain both their rarity and then- 
discovery in shrines. Fine flint daggers and spouted stone vessels also 
appear only as gifts in shrines or with male burials beneath shrines. 

The variety of funerary gifts gives one a fair picture of the range 
of objects and materials used in daily life and it may here be noted 
that no single object seems to have been made exclusively for 
funerary use. Pottery vessels, figurines of humans, animals or 
cult-statuettes were never buried with the dead. 

All the dead were probably buried in their garments, and wooden 
bowls, cups and boxes as well as baskets and food, berries, peas, 
lentils, grain, eggs or a joint of meat are found with the dead irres- 
pective of their sex. Among the other funeral gifts there are marked 
differences between those that accompany men on the one hand and 
women and children on the other. Articles of personal ornament 

Burial-customs and Grave-goods 

are a prerogative of the women. Cosmetic sets containing a small 
spoon, a fork and a palette; shells filled with red ochre, ointment- 
sticks of bone, baskets with rouge (red ochre mixed with fat), 
obsidian mirrors, are exclusively found with women. Jewellery, Plate XII 

though not confined to the fair sex, takes the form of necklaces, 
bracelets, armlets and anklets of beads of a vast variety of stones, Plate 95 

shell, clay, bone, animal teeth and, less common, beads of copper 
and lead. Finger-rings may be made of bone or copper, and wooden 
pins are sheathed in the same material. Other bracelets are made of 
marble, alabaster or grey limestone, and there is a collar carved of 
large boar tusk. Bone pins fastened women's garments near the 
shoulder. Amulets and pendants are common. Where a woman is 
buried with a child spoons, spatulae and ladles of bone frequently 
occur. Tools are less frequent, but include awls for sewing, bodkins 
for basketry work, knives and hoes. Children have necklaces, 
pendants, and rings, but otherwise no specific burial gifts. 

Male burials show little taste for jewellery. A few beads, pendants, 
shells or animal teeth may have been worn on a string round the 
neck, as is also shown in the wall-paintings, but no male was adorned 
•with elaborate necklaces like the women. Instead he was equipped 
with his weapons ; maces with perforated heads of polished stone, 
daggers, knives and firestones for striking fire of flint (often accom- 
panied by a piece of sulphur). The firestones are frequently found 
together with a knife and a scraper, all showing a 'pocket sheen', 
derived from frequent handling with greasy hands, and once carried 
in a leather bag. On a few occasions a composite tool has been 
produced that combined all three functions : knife, scraper and fire- 
stone, the predecessor of our pocket-knife. Groups of arrowheads, Plate 115 
single spearheads, a few sickle-blades, knife-blades of obsidian or 
flint are very often buried with the male dead. Hooks-and-eyes for 
fastening belts, antler toggles for loin-cloths or cloaks were articles 
of male dress. Metal, if not altogether absent, with male burials is 
extremely rare. Baked clay stamp-seals have been found in two 
graves, but the sex of their owners could not be determined. One 
male was provided with a ceremonial dagger,_a stone bowl, green 
paint and ointment-sticks and a bone scoop. 



Crafts and Trade 

A GREAT number of objects used in everyday life have been 
recovered at £atal Hiiyiik, abandoned on the floors of houses as 
successive settlements burnt, broken or thrown away with the swept- 
out domestic rubbish, deposited as offerings to the gods in shrines, 
as funeral-gifts with the dead, or safeguarded in hoards below the 
floor. Owing to the many fires from which people fled for their 
lives, the abandoned material is rich and varied, but one specific 
conflagration, that in which the settlement of Level VI A perished 
c 5880 bc, fiercer than most, led to the preservation of a quantity of 
perishable materials, such as cloth, fur, leather, and wood, which 
are not normally preserved. The terrific heat generated by the burn- 
ing town, which must have smouldered for a long time, penetrated 
to a depth of about a metre or more below the level of the floors, 
carbonising the earth, the bones of the dead and their burial-gifts 
and arrested all bacterial decay. The scorching heat was enough to 
destroy most of the cloth in which the dead were wrapped, but it 
has survived intact below the skeletons. 

As a result of this fire much perishable material is available for 
study and as the fire came at a period in the history of £atal Huyut 
which marked the transition from a society still largely relying on 
wood and basketry for its vessels instead of pottery (which becomes 
common only after the fire, in Level V), this unique evidence is 
extremely valuable. Far too often the archaeologist is forced tc 
evaluate a culture from a few broken pots, and tools and weapons 
of stone and bone, which may conceivably present a false or in- 
complete picture. At £atal Hiiyiik it is clear that the crafts of the 
weaver and the woodworker were much more highly esteemed than 
those of the potter or the bone-carver, and one may well wonder 
whether these two crafts have not been generally underrated or a: 


Crafts and Trade 

least inadequately represented among the achievements of the 
Neolithic period. 

Very few signs of industry have been found in the priestly quarter 
excavated at Qatal Huyuk, apart from such normal domestic occupa- 
tions as the preparation of food, the baking of bread and slingstones 
in ovens, the cutting of wood for fuel, awls for the mending of 
clothes and bodkins for the repair of mats and basketry; primary 
occupations which did not need skilled labour. 

On the other hand, there is no evidence that any of the more 
specialized crafts were performed in this quarter — such as the 
chipping of obsidian tools and weapons, the polishing of stone tools, 
the drilling and manufacture of beads, the weaving of cloth, etc. The 
objects found in the houses and shrines of the quarter are all finished 
products, and the area of the workshops where these items were 
made, sold or bartered, must lie somewhere else on the mound. The 
amount of technological specialization at £atal Hiiyiik is one of the 
most striking features of this highly developed society which "was 
obviously in the vanguard of Neolithic progress. The result of this 
specialization is equally apparent, for the quality and refinement of 
nearly everything made here is without parallel in the contemporary 
Near East. The priests and priestesses evidently did not bother to 
weave their own cloth or chip their own tools, they went to the 
bazaar and utilized the handiwork of others. Nor did they reap their 
own grain or spin their wool, and the idea of a home-industry was 
evidently frowned upon by these elegant sophisticates. Out of over 
two hundred rooms we have but one sickle and less than a dozen 
cores of obsidian, a single spindle-whorl and not a single loom- 
weight. However, there was evidence for fourteen cultivated food- 
plants, a great deal of cloth and hundreds of finely finished obsidian 
weapons. Consequently one is better informed about the actual 
artefacts which these people used than about the technology of their 
manufacturing processes, many of which remain to be studied. 
How, for example, did they polish a mirror of obsidian, a hard 
volcanic glass, without scratching it and how did they drill holes 
through stone beads (including obsidian), holes so small that no fine 
modern steel needle can penetrate? When and where did they learn 


Qatal Hiiyiik 

Fig. i 

Plate II 

Plate I 

to smelt copper and lead, metals attested at £atal Hiiyiik since Level 
IX, c 6400 bc? Did they use coal as fuel as well as for making beads 
and pendants? These and a host of other questions may only be 
answered when the workshops are found, and perhaps not even then. 
One of the most fascinating tasks is the location of the sources 
tapped by £atal Hiiyiik for its raw materials, for with the exception 
of clay, reeds and wood nearly everything used was made from 
materials not locally available. Even timber for building (oak and 
juniper) does not grow in the plain, but was brought from the hills 
and probably floated down the river. Fir, used for carving wooden 
bowls, was brought from the forests in the Taurus Mountains, 
so were numbers of foodstuffs. Greenstone and volcanic rocks could 
be found somewhat nearer, the first on a low ridge between £umra 
and Karaman, the latter on the Karadag, the prominent mountain 
which dominates the centre of the Konya Plain. In its foothills lime- 
stone is also available. Farther east lies a set of volcanoes, still active 
during the Neolithic period; Mekke Dag, Karaca Dag, the twin 
peaked cone of Hasan Dag and, farthest away to the north-east, the 
giant Erciyes Dag. Obsidian was obtained from some of these vol- 
canoes and it is definitely known to occur on the Karaca and Hasan 
Dag, and near the crater lake of Acigol (Topada). A red obsidian with. 
black streaks occurs in a deposit on the Nevsehir road. Which of 
these sources provided the obsidian for £atal Hiiyiik has not yet been 
definitely established, but the main source was probably Hasan Dag. 
Calcite and alabaster probably came from the Kayseri region, fine 
white marble from western Anatolia. Stalactites must have been 
derived from limestone caves known to exist in the Tau: 
Mountains south and west of the plain. The western hills behinc 
Konya, rich in brightly coloured iron oxides, may have provide 
a great number of pigments and cinnabar was mined near Sizn:_ 
north-west of Konya. The provenances of the copper ores, (cupr::e 
malachite, azurite), of haematite, limonite, manganese, gale: 
and lignite have not yet been determined, but all these metals 
are common in the Taurus Mountains. Trade with regions further 
south is well attested in the form of Mediterranean shells (especial 
dentalium, but with a sprinkling of cardium, cowrie and whelks), 


Crafts and Trade 

and fine tabular flint, the nearest sources of which He in the region 
of Gaziantep, south of the Taurus Mountains. Good flint is un- 
known on the south Anatolian plateau, but there is some cream, 
brown, yellow and red chert which was, however, little used at 
£atal Hiiyuk. 

The common use of all these rocks and minerals clearly shows that 
prospecting and trade formed a most important item of the city's 
economy and undoubtedly contributed appreciably to its wealth and 
prosperity. The sources of a great number of rocks are stall unknown 
or can only be guessed and in this category fall apatite, rock crystal, 
carnelian, jasper, chalcedony, and several others. 

The stone industries of Qatal Hiiyiik mark the climax of neolithic 
chipping and polishing and betray an immensely long ancestry. 
Certain tools such as the huge scrapers for cleaning hides are ulti- 
mately derived from the Middle Palaeolithic flake-industries, 
whereas the bulk of tools are made in the blade-industry which first 
appeared in the Upper Palaeolithic at the same time as Homo Sapiens. 
For chipping tools and weapons Neolithic man at (Jatal Hiiyiik 
made predominant use of black obsidian, derived from the volcanoes 
whose peaks are visible from the site on a clear day. A certain 
amount of flint, not locally available, was, however, used and its 
tougher quality was evidently recognized, for it was employed in the 
manufacture of daggers with serrated edges, scrapers, firestones (for 
striking fire) and a small number of knives. The sharper but more 
brittle obsidian was fashioned into a great number of tools and 
weapons among which the spearheads, up to 18 cms in length, and 
two sizes of arrowheads, perhaps suited to a long and short bow, 
are the finest products. Bifacially pressure-flaked, these weapons 
rival the finest Solutrean specimens. Unifacial pressure-flaking is 
found only on the flint daggers which were first ground down to the 
required thickness and then flaked to produce a serrated cutting edge. 
These daggers had hilts of wood, sometimes with a pommel of 
chalk and one particularly fine ceremonial weapon was provided 
with a hilt of bone carved in the shape of a snake with beady eyes and 
pointille incision simulating the reptile's scales. It was fixed to the 
blade with lime, which may have been mixed with resin, and 





m '-"tini&i 






iji'V 1 



J 1 '"" » jl) '!"'■ , l«l fib~ 'i 



54 Ceremonial flint dag- 
ger with hone handle. 
From a male burial in 
shrine VIA.29. See 
Plate XIV 



Qatal Hiiyuk 

Plate 112 

Plates 103, XV 
Plate 98 


the final fastening was done by means of fine twine wound roi 
the lower part of the hilt. Scrapers of all sizes, knives, sickle-blades, 
gouges, chisels and a few burins make up the rest of the industr 
Picks and hoes are absent, borers or piercers rare in stone, their place 
being taken by thousands of bone awls. Cores, roughouts and raw 
material occur in hoards, showing that fabrication was done on the 
site, though evidently not in the quarter excavated. In the latesx 
levels (111 and II) there is a marked decline in the chipped stone 
industry, which had reached its climax in Levels VII-V, and a few 
atypical microliths appear. The latter are not only rare, but unusual 
and without parallel yet their presence does not affect the develop- 
ment of the industry, which is characterized by large tools and is 
not microlithic. In fact it is already clear that this industry was 
derived from an earlier one in obsidian, also characterized by larg< 
tools as well as by the total absence of microhths. 

The polished stone industry is no less developed; obsidian mirrc 
carved and polished statuettes, finely ground and perforated mao 
heads, fitted with shafts of wood c. 63 cms in length, or shorter 
shafts of bone; polished stone bowls, cosmetic palettes, and 
thousands of fine stone beads show a high technological develop- 
ment. Saddle querns, rubbing stones, mortars and pestles, poHsning 
stones, rings of stone, bracelets, grooved stones for pohshhig bone, 
greenstone axes, adzes and chisels (and also miniatures of these) 
for fine woodwork abound. Flint axes and adzes are quite unknown. 
There appear to have been few stones that the Neolithic people of 
(Jatal Hiiyuk were not able to work by grinding, pohshing a: 
perforating. The notable exceptions are granite, gneiss, basalt, 
diorite and other hard igneous rocks which were not used. 

The same techniques of grinding and polishing were applied to 
shell and bone, elements of which are frequently combined with 
stone beads in necklaces, armlets, bracelets and anklets, where 
possible in striking and harmoniously blended colour-schemes. 
Boar tusk was less commonly used, but when found it is often 
perforated or ornamented with incised geometric designs. 

Bone tools and implements are very common and range from 
oval cups and scoops to ladles, spatulae, cosmetic tools (spatulae 

55 Characteristic wooden 
vessels from shrines or 
burials in Levels VI A 
and VI B. See Plates 

ending in little carved hand forks, ointment sticks, etc.), to pins, 
bodkins, awls, punches and polishers for leather working. Antler 
toggles and finely polished hooks and eyes for fastening belts have 
already been mentioned and bone wrist-guards were used by archers. 
Small bone handles may have held copper awls. Incised decoration is 
rare on bone tools and ornaments, and in general incision was little 
practised. Most of the stone tools must have had wooden, rather than 
bone handles, which explains their rarity. Antler was also fairly rare 
and was used mainly for toggles and once for making a sickle. 

Wood was widely used; trees were cut with polished greenstone 
axes. Adzes and chisels in the same material, used for carpentry, are 
abundant and all timber at Qatal Huyiik, oak or juniper, was 
squared, not only the roof beams and the posts but also the ladders. 
Wooden vessels were cut with stone tools out of fir and possibly 
other soft woods. The Neolithic woodworkers created a sophis- 
ticated set of wooden vessels : great meat dishes 50 cms in length 
with carved handles, oval bowls with ledge handles, deep or shallow 
round bowls and dishes, boat-shaped vessels, sauceboats and an egg- 
cup. Small boxes occur in many varieties, each with a wen-fitting 
lid. These may be square, oblong or oval and frequently have small 
lugs, a knob on the lid and sometimes relief decoration. Others again 
were painted red. 

Plates 99, 101, 102 
Plate 100 

% 55 
Plates 106, 108 

Plate 107 
Plate 105 


Qatal Huytik 

It is clear from tlie pottery shapes that throughout the Neolithic 
period at (patal Hiiyiik pottery occupied a secondary position ami. 
was unable to free itself completely from hitherto current shapes in 
wood and basketry. As late as Level II (c. 5750-5700 bc) a fair numbe 
of pottery shapes are angular and wooden, imitate wooden boxes, 
or have wooden feet. This shows conclusively that wooden vessd 
continued to be made side by side with the pottery until the end of 
the settlement, and there is a priori no reason why woodworking 
should have declined. Generally the importance of ceramic produc- 
tion in the Neolithic has probably been greatly overrated. It was a 
technological advance like any other and was no doubt useful for 
cooking, but it was easily breakable, hard to transport, in these early 
phases not so easy to fire well and aesthetically not very attracts 
It is only in the later part of the Neolithic that improved fnng 
conditions led to the production of cream coloured wares, which ia 
the immediately following period, the Early Chalcolithic, were 
lavishly decorated with painted designs. The few streaks and bands of 
paint on light coloured pots, that make a sporadic appearance since 
£atal Hiiyiik Level III, showed little promise of the spectacu 
painted pottery that was to come. 

The monochrome Neolithic pottery of Qatal Hiiyiik is made 
from a fine grit-tempered clay (usually without any straw). It was 
built up in coils on a flat base and the walls of the vessel were after- 
wards thinned out by paddle and anvil method, which involved 
beating the clay walls with a wooden paddle against a wooden block 
held inside the pot. When leather hard, the pot was burnished with 
apiece of bone or a pebble to reduce porosity and produce a fine shine 
when fired. The firing was apparently done in a bread oven or in a 
closed kiln with separate firing chamber of which two were found in 
Level VI. "With the exception of a few bowls in Levels IV-II which 
have simple horizontal incised lines (without white fill) along the 
rim, the Qatal Hiiyiik pottery is not decorated. Impressed designs, 
roulette impressions or combing with the edge of a cardium shell, 
barbotine pattern, etc., characteristic of a small proportion of r 
contemporary neolithic pottery of Mersin, Tarsus, Ras Shamra, etc, 
on the coasts of Cilicia and North Syria, is unknown on the Anatolian 


Crafts and Trade 
Plateau or on the coast of Pamphylia, where similar Neolithic wares 
occur in a number of caves and rock-shelters. 

The colour of this (fatal Hiiyuk neolithic pottery varies consider- 
ably: most of the hole-mouth cooking-pots, exposed to fire, are Plates 109, no 
dark grey or brownish black and a number of bowls show the same 
colours. Others are red, buff, light grey, beige and orange as early as 
Levels X and IX, when this pottery is first found. Some of the coarse 
ware is brick red (Levels X-IX), but it is confined to these early 
levels. To call this pottery (as has been done) 'Dark burnished ware' 
or 'Syro-Cicilian' is inaccurate, for much of it is light in colour and 
its distribution is not confined to the north-eastern corner of the 
Mediterranean, but includes the entire south Anatolian Plateau. 

It is clear that the beginnings of pottery manufacture have not 
yet been reached at £atal Hiiyuk, where it has been found down to 
Level XIII in 1965. From Level V onwards pottery is regularly 
found in every house and it gradually increases both in quantity 
and quality as time goes on. Lighter-coloured wares increase, 
often with fine mottled surfaces and more elegant shapes and by 
the end of Level II, c. 5700 bc, cream-coloured bowls are com- 
mon, painting begins and tubular vertically placed lugs make then- 
first appearance. The cooking-pots show little change in shape from 
Level X to Level I, but their lugs gradually change to crescentic 
ledge handles. Bases are usually flat, but ring and disc bases occur 
early and some of the later vessels have four elegant L shaped feet. Plate in 

Clay balls, baked in ovens, and clay figurines of human beings 
and animals were common and some of these balls bear incised 
decoration. Baked clay was also used for the production of beads 
and pendants, slingstones, stamp-seals and statuettes at least from 
Level VI B onwards, i.e. after 6000 bc. 

Particularly interesting is the use of copper and lead, in the form 
of beads and pendants, tubes and other trinkets, as early as Level EX, Plate 104 

c. 6400 bc. Finds of copper and lead beads occur in nearly every 
building-level and it would not be surprising if gold and silver were 
also known, even though they have not yet been found or recog- 
nized. A lump of slag from Level VI A has shown upon analysis that 
copper was being extracted from its ore and the presence of lead, 



Qatal Huyiik 

which, occurs in Anatolia as galena, implies smelting as early as Level 
IX. Other copper beads have been produced from native copper 
which occurs, for example, in quantity at Ergani Maden, north of 
Diyarbakir, and probably elsewhere in Anatolia. The presence of a 
copper awl, 4 cms in length in a stratified position in the lower levels 
of the village site of Suberde, some fifty miles south-west of £atal 
Hiiyiik at a date roughly comparable to Qatal Huyiik X-VI, throws 
interesting light on the spread of metal-working even to the villages 
surrounding the Konya Plain. The beads were made from thin 
hammered copper sheets rolled up, but it is not yet clear whether 
heat was applied to facilitate this. Further analyses are in progress. 
The evidence for weaving at £atal Huyiik is manifold; clay or 
silica imprints of mats and baskets and carbonized remains of the 
same; wall-paintings showing goddesses in richly coloured and 
patterned garments, and men in white loin-cloths ; statuettes wearing 
fringed garments and finally numerous fragments of woven cloth, 
felt, string, thread and rope of plant fibre. 

Spirally-worked coiled baskets are common in all levels and in a 
deposit of grain some actual fragments of thin plant stems, possibly 
cereal straw, sewn or tied with grass blades, were found in Level IV. 
The basketry technique used here consisted of taking a continuous 
strip or bundle of regular thickness of straw or other plant-stems 
and tying them together in spiral coils by means of bast or other 
flexible material, so that each turn of the bast around the bundle is 
connected with the previous ring and finally the straw is completely 
covered by the bast. In this way it is possible to build up a tight 
container, just as pottery may be built up from a consecutive series of 
strips of clay. The two techniques are, in fact, closely related. 

Plate 120 Rush carpets covered numerous floors and most are woven in a 

pattern of quadruple warp and weft of very fine rushes or marsh 
grass. In the carbonized state the stems are no more than a millimetre 
thick. Others were coarser. In a number of cases it could be estab- 
lished that the mats were woven with a pattern r placed diagonally 
to the outer edge. It is worth noting that the same patterns are woven 
in mats to this day in the village of the Konya Plain and elsewhere in 
southern Anatolia. 


Crafts and Track 

Baskets were used for a great variety of purposes; for trie collec- 
tion and storage of food, as grain bins, for the safe keeping of mirrors 
and rouge and as containers for tne skeletons of children and even 
adults. Some were provided with lids. 

The fragments of fine woven cloth from the burnt burials of 
Level VI show great technical skill and have been studied by Mr 
Harold Burnham of the Department of Textiles in the Royal 
Ontario Museum. His report is not yet available at the time of 
writing, so that the notes which follow are of a preliminary nature. 
Owing to the carbonization of the material we are unfortunately not 
yet certain whether the fibre used was wool or mohair, perhaps both 
were used. The possibility that the material was linen, i.e. flax fibre, 
can be discarded as flax was not grown at (Jatal Huyiik, nor any- 
where else before c. 5000 bc, which is far too late for a potential 
import. The yarn used is two-ply, i.e. two spun threads wound 
around each other. No selvage has been preserved, but there is a fine 
piece of a twined heading cord on a large fragment of plain tabby 
weave, found inside a human skull. Whereas most of the pieces show 
a fme plain weave, there are others with a widely spaced weft, plate 118 

producing a shawl-like textile. Still others show knotting resembling 
a fish-net pattern. Cloth tapes are also found and a young woman Plate u<5 

buried in shrine VI.A.25 wore a string skirt, the ends of which were 
encased in small copper tubes for weighting it. Fringes are also Plate 117 

commonly found and a small statuette from Level II shows a short Plate 87 

skirt with a fringe above and below. One piece of cloth was mended 
and the sewn edge was clearly visible; the stitch was rather coarse. 

All the cloth being carbonized, no traces of colour have survived, 
but as several of the goddess reliefs show brightly coloured and 
patterned garments, such must have existed. Evidence for red thread 
has survived in a number of broken beads, the perforations of which 
are still stained red. As there was no red ochre present in the grave, 
this colour must have come from the thread. The abundance of 
kilim patterns painted on the walls of shrines likewise suggests 
that gaudily coloured woven rugs were as common a feature of the 
Neolithic period in Anatolia as they are now. All this evidence 
suggests that dyeing was well known and some of the commonest 


Qatal Huytik 

Plate 121 ; Fig. 56 

56 Stamp seals of baked 
clay with decorative 
patterns from Levels 
VI-IL See Plate 121 

weeds in the neighbourhood of Qatal Hiiyuk are madder (Ruhia 
tinrtorum), woad if satis tinctoria) and weld [Reseda luteola), which 
yield a deep red, a hlue and a strong yellow respectively. Bedstraw, 
dock and others, also found in the plain, are well known dye- 
producing plants. The numerous stamp-seals of baked clay bearing 
intricate designs of spirals and meanders on shapes which include 
quatrefoils or flowers and human hands, may have been used to 
stamp patterns on cloth and need not have been used solely to paint 
the human skin. None retain any traces of colour, which is not sur- 
prising, for a vegetable dye is more subject to decay than the mineral 
pigments of the wall-paintings. That cloth was indeed stamped with 
coloured patterns is suggested by some wall-paintings in shrine 
III. 8 which includes numerous quatrefoils, or those of Early Chal- 
colithic Can Hasan decorated with pseudo-meanders like many of 
our seals. Already appearing in Level VI, the most elaborately 
decorated ones derive from Levels IV, III and II. 

Apart from garments of woven cloth, animal-skins and fur were 
certainly worn as is indicated by numerous wall-paintings, statuettes 
and fragments in the graves. Leopard-skins were particularly in 
favour, a fashion that has lasted to the present day. Bonnets were 
worn, but we have no evidence for footwear, which was probably 
made of leather and much needed on the snow-covered wintry 
plateau. Belts were probably made of the same material, but no 
fragments have survived; however, one dagger was still found in its 
leather sheath. Tanning may have been known for acorns, brought 
from the hills, are numerous. Slings were probably of leather and 
bowstrings were probably made from animal gut. 

The excellent preservation of perishable materials at this site offers 
great hopes for further interesting finds when the excavations can be 



The People and their Economy 

The basis for the spectacular development of the Neolithic at 
Qatal Htiyuk was evidently laid by efficiently organized food 
production and conservation. That the Neolithic people of this site 
had successfully established their 'Neolithic Revolution' which 
meant freedom from hunger, is proved by abundant evidence. In 
fact, few other sites have preserved such an abundance and variety of 
foodstuffs and from the sheer size of the as yet uninvestigated 
aceramic Neolithic mound it is reasonable to conjecture that the 
same sort of conditions which we find from c. 6500 bc (Level X) 
onwards had prevailed for at least a millennium before, if not con- 
siderably earlier. We are still ignorant of the ecological factors 
involved in the establishment of the first settlement in the plain, in an 
area which, as Dr Hans Helbaek has shown, cannot have provided by 
any stretch of imagination the wild progenitor of all forms of barley, 
the two-row Hordeum spontaneum or the progenitor of emmer, 
Triticum dicoccoides. Everything indicates that the plant husbandry of 
Catal Hiiyuk must have a long prehistory somewhere else, in a 
region where the wild ancestors of these plants were at home, 
presumably in hilly country, well away from the man-made en- 
vironment of the Konya Plain. If we may theorize for a little, this 
statement of the eminent palaeobotanist implies that agriculture was 
introduced into the plain, not just before Level X, about the middle 
of the seventh millennium, but much earlier at the time when 
Qatal Hiiyiik was founded. Such agricultural beginnings must have 
started long before the moment at which the first carbonized remains 
of grains and small legumes make their appearance in the settlements 
of the Near East, around 7000 bc at aceramic Hacilar 5 in Anatolia, 
at Beidha VI near Petra and in the Bus Mordeh period of the settle- 
ment of Alikosh on the edge of the lowlands of Khuzistan. Even 


Qatal Huytik 

those simple patterns of agriculture show a consistent specialization 
with hulled two-row barley as the main crop, emmer (Triticum 
dicoccum) cultivated or wild, coming second, some wild einkorn, 
lentils, pea or vetch as legumes and pistachio and acorns. The 
beginnings must be sought in the Natufian of Palestine, the still 
unknown earlier aceramic of the Anatolian Plateau, and in Khuzistan. 
This will take one into a 'Protoneolithic' period which began at the 
end of the Pleistocene, archaeologically speaking just after the end of 
the Upper Palaeolithic. 

No study has been made of the ecological and climatic conditions 
prevailing at the end of the Upper Palaeolithic on the Anatolian 
Plateau, but J. Birman informed the author in 1963 that he had found 
definite evidence on the Anatolian Plateau, including the mountain 
ranges of the Taurus which surround the Konya Plain, for a Last 
Glacial relapse and a minor readvance of ice during the Younger 
Dryas of Western Europe (c. 8850-8300 bc). K. W. Butzer in his 
Environment and archaeology (Chicago, 1964, pp. 425-6), argues that 
this final cold period probably did not pass unnoticed in the Near 
East, producing for example, evidence for moister climate in Palestine 
and Egypt during part or all of the Natufian period. The rather 
modest temperature changes (1-3 ° C) would not have been significant 
for human habitation, but the depression of the snow line may have 
had its effect on the distribution of wild cereals which may have been 
excluded from certain regions. Modern conditions would not have 
prevailed until c. 8000 bc, which is very much the same time-range 
that may be indicated for the beginnings of agriculture in Anatolia at 
the end of the Palaeolithic. This period saw not only the first estab- 
lishment of the 'Protoneolithic' village of Jericho, dated by C-14 
before 8000 bc but also of contact with Anatolia, from which the 
first obsidian was exported to Jericho, a contact that was maintained 
throughout the eighth millennium (Jericho Pre-pottery Neolithic A). 
Perhaps the first agricultural settlements started to appear in Anatolia 
as in Palestine after c. 8300 bc, perhaps in the eastern hill-zone beyond 
the Konya Plain where He the sources of obsidian. This is, of course, 
pure speculation, not as yet based on any firmly established facts, 
but the practices of early agriculture, the traditional wooden-house 


The People and their Economy 
architecture of gatal Hiiyiik, and likewise the commercial and perhaps 
ritual importance of obsidian may point to this hilly region. 

The conquest of the plain must, as Helbaek has pointed out, come 
kter. Its exact date is unknown, but man by then was able to intro- 
duce agriculture into a new environment, where seeds were sown in 
the flood pools of the Qarsamba river which drains from the great 
mountain lakes of Beysehir and Sugla into the fertile alluvial plain 
around Qumra. As late as 6000 BC the Konya Plain teemed with wild 
life and both the zoologists who have studied our material, Dexter 
Perkins Jr and Pierre Ducos regard the plain as a favourable eco- 
logical niche which produced maximum size in such species as 
aurochs (Bos primigenius), a pig (Sus scrofa) and Red Deer (Cewus 
daphus). Perhaps it was the presence of great herds of these desirable 
animals that attracted man to the grasslands of the plain. However 
that may be, considerable ecological differences are marked in the 
: venth millennium bc between the animals of the plain and those 
living round the intramontane lake of Sugla near Seydisehir, as 
revealed by the recent excavations of J. Bordaz at the village site of 
Suberde. Here 90 per cent of the animal-bones belonged to wild 
sheep, pig and Red Deer, the remaining 10 per cent being aurochs 
goat, wolf, fox and tortoise. A small race of pigs, different from the 
panticspecies of the Konya Plain, is perhaps theonlyanimal thatmay 
W been domesticated. At gatal Huyiik on the other hand domestic 
~ep and goat occur even in the lowest layers, but pigs are not 
domesticated and the possibility of domestication of the aurochs 
cannot yet be proved statistically. In the microlithic obsidian and 
fimt industry of Suberde the great hunting weapons of gatal Hiiyuk 
are conspicuous by their absence and even the arrowheads are differ- 
ent. Evidently the hunting of large game was less a feature of Neo- 
lithic life in this village than it was at ^atal Hiiyiik where the main 
quarry was formed by the herds of aurochs, wild pig, and Red Deer 
Two species of wild ass, wild sheep, Roe Deer, Fallow Deer, an 
occasional gazelle, fox, wolf, and leopards were also hunted. No 
rones of Hon have yet been found, but there may be some bear 
A wall-painting is not the only evidence for domestic dog. Birds and 
fch were also caught but they were obviously less prized; of snails 


QataX Hiiyiik 

there is no trace. The people of Qatal Hiiyiik then made good use of 
the hunter's paradise of the Konya Plain and it is of interest to note 
that, as time went on, it became more and more difficult to find large 
horn-cores for ritual purposes. The horns used after Level V are 
very small compared to the enormous ones so common in Levels 
VII and VI. The same rarity of large specimens may have led to a 
reduction in the size of spearheads and arrowheads which is notable 
after Level V and finally to the decline of the stone industry in Levels 
III and II after winch incidentally, the wall-paintings disappear. 

Compared to the simple agricultural products of aceramic Hacilar 
5, enormous progress was made at Qatal Huyiik during the seventh 
millennium. By Level VI, c. 6000 bc, not less than fourteen food- 
plants were cultivated. Many more species have been identified, but 
those mentioned here are the economically important ones. The 
principal crops were emmer, einkorn, naked six-row barley and pea, 
all occurring in great quantities from Levels VI-II. Bread-wheat 
(Triticum aestivum) also makes its first appearance in Catal Hiiyiik VI. 
The field pea was more common than the purple pea (Pisum elatius) 
and lentil. A species of vetch (Vicia noena) and cultivated bitter vetch 
(Ervum ervilia) also appear in Level VI. Two cruciferous plants, 
Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursapastoris) and the salt-loving Erysimum 
sisymbrioides were grown as sources of plant fat equivalent to the 
gathering and cultivation of linseed in more easterly areas at a later 
date. Among fruit seeds brought from the hills, presumably the 
Taurus Mountains in the south, were almonds, acorns, pistachio 
(Pistacia atlantica), apple, juniper and hackberry (Celtis australis). The 
latter occurring even in the deepest levels of (patal Hiiyiik, was 
apparently used for making wine. Many weeds provide indications of 
the conditions prevailing in the Konya Plain some eight thousand 
years ago and salt-loving species already show that salinity was a 
feature of the (Jumra area as it is now. 

It may be of interest to speculate about other kinds of food. Bever- 
ages such as beer and wine were evidently known, but grapes and 
olives do not appear to have been domesticated till the fourth or 
even third millennium. The acid in the caps of acorns is used today to 
start the process of making yoghurt, and domestic sheep and goats 


The People and their Economy 
were evidently kept for their milk and fleece as much as for their 
meat. When butter and cheese, sour buttermilk or ayran were 
invented we shall probably never know, but they may well be 
Neolithic. Salt, a necessity in the preparation of vegetable foods, was 
easy enough to find in the Konya Plain and the Neolithic station of 
Ihcapinar on a small salt-lake to the south-west of the Tuz Golii 
may have been a trading post specializing in salt export. The paint- 
ings of insects hovering over fields of flowers conceivably suggests 
that honey was known. Other sweetening agents are to this day 
extracted from the bark of trees by nomads in southern Anatolia. 
Resins and birch bark may have been used for fastening tools and 
weapons on to shafts and into handles; bitumen is unknown on the 
Anatolian plateau. 

Of the Neolithic population of Qatal Huyiik nothing definite can 
be said until the skeletons have been studied by Mile Denise Ferem- 
bach and Professor Lawrence Angel. The following preliminary 
notes are derived from the observations of Mr D. Biernoff. The 
population of Qatal Hiiyiik appears to have been of two different 
races (recognized by Mile Ferembach), dolichocephalic Proto- 
Mediterranean and another brachycephahc element, and of fairly 
tall stature. The average for women being between 5 ft and 5ft 41ns, 
that for men between 5ft 4ms and 5ft ioins with few individuals 
in the extreme brackets. Few people seem to have been more 
than forty years old. There are no individuals among the burials 
that showed signs of violent death, nor is any skull trephined. 
A few individuals show broken limbs, signs of arthritis and caries of 
the teeth. On the whole, however, dentition is excellent. Childbirth, 
fevers, and pneumonia are suggested as the main causes of death, not 
degenerative diseases. Among the skeletons women and children far 
outnumber men. These observations are subject to confirmation. 

Not much can be said about the Neolithic social structure as the 
excavations have revealed only the religious quarter. The position of 
women was obviously an important one in an agricultural society 
with a fertility cult in which a goddess was the principal deity. 
Social inequality is suggested by sizes of buildings, equipment and 
burial gifts, but this is never a glaring one. Full-time specialization 


C^atal Hiiyiik 


is fairly obvious and the workshops lay elsewhere on the mound. 
The variety of arts and crafts practised at Qatal Hiiyiik is nearly as 
great as that of the developed civilizations of the Early Bronze Age. 
Only the arts of book-keeping or writing and music are not repre- 
sented among the finds. The existence of an ordered pattern of society 
is evident from the stereotyped house plans, from the standard 
features and equipment and a strong conservatism is shown by the 
frequent rebuildings on the same plan, the strict architectural lay- 
out and the very few changes that can be observed in the culture 
over a period of some eight hundred years. 

In contrast to other contemporary Neolithic cultures, Qatal Hiiyiik 
preserved a number of traditions that seem archaic in a fully devel- 
oped Neolithic society. The art of wall-painting, the reliefs modelled 
in clay or cut out of the wall-plaster, the naturalistic representa- 
tions of animals, human figures and deities, the occasional use of 
finger-impressed clay designs like macaroni,' the developed use of 
geometric ornament including spirals and meanders, incised on seals 
or transferred to a new medium of weaving; the modelling of 
animals wounded in hunting-rites, the practice of red-ochre burials, 
the archaic amulets in the form of a bird-like steatopygous goddess, 
and finally certain types of stone tools and the preference for dental- 
ium shells in jewellery, all preserve remains of an Upper Palaeolithic 
heritage. To a greater or lesser extent, such archaic elements are also 
traceable in a number of other post-Palaeolithic cultures, such as the 
Natufian of Palestine, but nowhere are they so pronounced as in the 
Neolithic of £atal Hiiyiik. The reason for the continuance of such 
Upper Palaeolithic practices there may be due to a strong conserva- 
tism but one suspects that it had its origin in the very important part 
that hunting continued to play in the economy of the Konya Plain. 
In view of all these survivals one is inclined to believe that this civili- 
zation is descended from an Upper Palaeolithic, probably Anatolian, 
of which hardly anything is known. It would be premature to 
speculate further about the ancestry of £atal Hiiyiik until excavation 
has been carried further, nor would a comparison with contemporary 
cultures in the Near East be of any profit as long as so much inter- 
vening territory remains to be explored, and other key-sites remain 

The People and their Economy 
unpublished. To describe the impact of this Neolithic civilization 
on its neighbours and successors, both in Anatolia and the adjacent 
countries of south-eastern Europe would demand another volume. 
Dr Hans Helbaek is now in a position to show that it was the agri- 
cultural development of Neolithic Anatolia that was responsible for 
the spread of agriculture into Europe, preparing the way for the 
beginning of European civilization which is our common heritage. 

Seen in this light, the Neolithic civilization of Qatal Huyiik 
represents something unique in the long history of human en- 
deavours: a link between the remote hunters of the Upper Palaeo- 
lithic and the new order of food-production that was the basis of all 
our civilization. 

Our task is not yet done; at least a decade of continuing work lies 
ahead. It is to be hoped that, with the co-operation of the Turkish 
authorities, the excavation of the earliest town of Anatolia and one of 
the earliest in the world, may shortly be resumed. Meanwhile, 
something of that town's remarkable quality is here presented as a 
foretaste of further discovery. 



James Mellaart. Excavations at £atal Hiiyiik, 1961. First preliminary 
report. In Anatolian Studies, XII, 1962, pp. 41-65 ; pis III-XVIH. 

— Excavations at Qatal Hiiyiik, 1962. Second preliminary report. In 
Anatolian Studies, XIII, 1963, pp. 43-103; pis III-XXIX. 

— Excavations at £atal Hiiyiik, 1963. Third preliminary report. In 
Anatolian Studies, XIV, 1964, pp. 39-119; pis I-XXVI. 

— Excavations at £atal Hiiyiik. 1965. Fourth prehminary report. In 
Anatolian Studies, XVI, 1966, pp. 165-191 ; pis XXIX-LXIH. 

Perry A. Bialor. The chipped stone industry of £atal Hiiyiik. In Anatolian 

Studies, XII, 1962, pp. 67-110. 
Hans Helbaek. Textiles from (patal Huyiik. In Archaeology, Spring 1963, 

pp. 39-46. 

— First impressions of the Qatal Hiiyiik plant husbandry. In Anatolian 
Studies, XIV, 1964, pp. 121-3. 

H. Neuninger, R. Pittioni and W. Siegl. Fruhkeramikzeitliche Kupferge- 

winnung in Anatolien. In Archaeologia Austriaca, 35, 1964, pp. 98-110. 
Theodore A. Wertime. Man's first encounters with metallurgy. In Science, 

Dec. 4, 1964, vol. 146. no. 3649, pp. 1257-67. 
K. W. Butzer. Environment and archaeology. Aldine Co. Chicago, 1964. 
Jacques Bordaz. Anatolian Research project. Suberde Excavations, First 

campaign, Summer 1964. In New York University, Department of 

Classics Bulletin 1964-2 (Nov. 12, 1964). 
J. R. Cann and Colin Renfrew. The characterisation of obsidian and its 

application to the Mediterranean region. In Proceedings of the Prehistoric 

Society, new series XXX, 1964, pp. 11 1-3 3; especially pp. 122-3. 
H. Burnham. Qatal Hiiyiik-the textiles and twine fabrics. In Anatolian 

Studies, XV, 1965, pp. 169-74. 


List of Illustrations 

All photographs, unless otherwise acknowledged, are by Mrs M. A. Mellaart. Reconstructions and line drawings 
by Grace Huxtable (G.H.) and Anne-Louise Stockdale (A.-L.S.). 


Colour Plates 


1 Hasan Dag. 

II Konya plain and Kara Dag. Photo 
Ian A. Todd. 

III View of west wall shrine VI. 14. 

IV Bull cut in plaster, north wall 
shrine VI.B.8. 

V Painted ram's head, east wall 
shrine VI.A.7. 

VI Twin leopard relief, shrine VIA. 

VII Relief figure of pregnant god- 
dess, east wall shrine VII.23 . 

VIII Kilim pattern, west wall shrine 


IX Clay figure of goddess, shrine 

X Goddesses and boy god statuettes, 
shrine VI. A. 10. 

XI Doe and fawn, antechamber 
shrine A.HI.I. 

XII Female burial, shrine VI.B.20. 
Xm Male dancer, shrine A.III.i. 

XIV Ceremonial flint dagger, shrine 

XV Necklaces, Level VI and IV. 

Monochrome Plates 


i Catal Hiiyiik from west. 

2 Building-level VI. 

3 House VII. 12. 

4 South wall, house A.m. 10. 

5 Wall-painting, east wall house 
VI.B.65. G.H. 

6 Bread ovens, Levels IV and V. 

7 Hand and foot impressions, 
entrance house VI.A.63. 

8 'Mortuary' wall-painting, north 
wall shrine VI.B.i. A.-L.S. 

9 North wall, shrine VT.10. 

10 North wall, shrine VII. 10. 

11 Black bull painting, north wall 
shrine LX.8. 

12 Cut-out figure of bull, north wall 
shrine VII.8. 

13* Clay head of wild boar. Level VI. 

14 Bull cut in plaster, north wall 
shrine VI.B.8. 

15 Bucrania, shrine VI.61. 

16 Bench with horn cores of wild 
bulls, shrine VI.61. 

17 Plaster relief of stag, shrine VII.10. 

18 Copy of early phase of leopard 
reliefs, shrine VI.B.44. G.H. 

19 Twin leopard relief, early phase 
original, shrine VI.B.44. 

20 Twin leopard relief, late phase 
original, shrine VI.A.44. 

21 Copy of late phase of leopard 
reliefs. G.H. 

22 Large and small bulls' heads, 
shrine VI. 14. 

23 Two superimposed bulls' heads, 
west wall shrine VT.A.31. 

24 Goddess, west wall shrine VII.31. 

25 Red-painted goddess figure. 

26 Goddess, west wall shrine VI.B.8. 

27 Third phase decoration, east wall 
shrine VI. 8. 

28 East wall, shrine VI. 10. 


29 Copy of kilim pattern, east wall 
shrine VI.B.i A.-L.S. 

30 Kilim pattern, north wall shrine 

31 Copy of painting, north wall 
shrine A.m.8. G.H. 

32 Painting on east and north walls, 
shrine A.BI.8. 

33 Co Py of early painting, west wall 
shrine A.III.8. G.H. 

34 Early paintings, west wall shrine 

35 Leopard spot pattern, south wall 
shrine VI.B.i. 

36 Pattern framing doorway, north 
wall shrine VII.8. G.H. 

37 Kilim pattern, east wall shrine 
VIA. 50. 

38 Copy of kilim pattern, east wall 
shrine VT.A.50. G.H. 

3 9 Human figure and goddesses from 
symbol panel, shrine Vf.A.66. 

40 Copy of symbol panel, east wall 
shrine VI.A.66. G.H. 

41 Later painting, east wall shrine 
VI.B.8. G.H. 

42 Earlier of two painted patterns, 
east wall shrine VI.B.8. 

43 Copy of hands and net pattern, 
shrine VII.8. G.H. 

44 Hands and net pattern on west 
and north walls, shrine VII.8. 

45 Copy of central panel in Vulture 
Shrine VII.8. G.H. 

46 Copy of black vulture panel, 
Shrine VIH.8. A.-L.S. 

47 Detail headless human figure, 
Shrine VII.21. 

48 Detail north wall of Vulture 
Shrine VII.8. 

49 Copy of painting from north wall 
of Vulture Shrine VII.8. G.H. 

50 Detail copy of dead man's head, 
shrine E.IV.i. A.-L.S. 

51 Copy of funerary rite, east wall 
shrine E.IV.i. A.-L.S. 

52 Copy of running men and bull, 
north wall shrine A.IV.i. A.-L.S. 

53 Small white figure on east walls 
shrine E.IV.I. 

54 Copy of deer hunt, antechamber 
of shrine A.III.I. A.-L.S. 

5 5 Detail of fallen stag, shrine A.HI. I . 

56 Archer and dog, north wall room 

57 Copy of archer and dog, north 
wall room A.m.13. A.-L.S. 

58 Reconstruction of stag's head, east 
wall shrine A.III.i. 


59 Copy of erupting volcano paint- 
ing, shrine VII. 14. G.H. 

60 Erupting volcano and city, north 
and east walls shrine VII. 14. 

61 Copy of great deer hunt, east wall 
shrine A.III.i. A.-L.S. 

62 Headless white and red figure, 
shrine A.III.I. 

63 Red ochre skull and paintings, 
shrine AJH.I. 

64 Copy of great red bull, north wall 
shrine A.III.i. A.-L.S. 

65 Limestone concretion with 
sculptured head, shrine VI. A. 10. 

66 Clay animal figurines, Level VI. 
67, <58 Clay figure of goddess giving 

birth, shrine A.II.i. 
69 Pebble figurine, shrine VI.A.10. 
70, 71 White marble twin goddess, 

shrine VI. A. 10. 
72 Schematic seated figure, shrine 

VIA. 10. 

73 » 74 Goddess and leopard, shrine 

75, 76 Goddess and leopard, shrine 


77 Alabaster goddess, shrine E.IV.4. 

78 White marble goddess, shrine 

79 Painted clay figure of a goddess, 
shrine VT.A.61. 

80 White marble kneeling goddess, 
shrine VI.A.25. 

81 Necklace of schematized god- 
desses, burial in building IV. 8. 
Photo Ian A. Todd. 

82 Broken marble figure of a vul- 
ture, shrine VI.A.25. 

83 Schist plaque with four deities, 
shrine VI. A. 30. 


84 White marble figure of a god on 
a stool, shrine VI.A.25. 

85 White limestone seated god in a 
leopard-skin cap, shrine VI. A. 10. 

86 Boy god with leopards, shrine 
VIA. 10. 

87 Clay figure of goddess in leopard 
skin dress, shrine A.II.r. 

88 Alabaster bearded god on a bull, 
Leopard Shrine VI.A.44. 

89 Calcite god on a bull, Second 
Vulture Shrine VII.21. 

90 Black limestone cloaked and 
hooded goddess, shrine VI. A. 10. 

91 Black limestone god on a bull, 
shrine VI. A. 10. 

92 Superimposed burials, house 


93 Burial in shrine VI. 8. 

94 Fine cloth, burial in shrine VI. 1. 

95 Female burial, shrine VI.7. 

96 Scattered burials, house E.IV.i. 

97 Female cinnabar-decorated skull, 
shrine VI.B.20. 

98 Incised boar's tusk collar, female 
burial, house VII. 12. 

99 Bone spatula and needle, burial 
in house IV. 11. 

100 Belt hooks and eyes, male burials 
shrines VI. A. 5. and VI.A.20. 

101 Bone two pronged fork, house 

102 Two bone spatulae, house B. 
II. 1. and shrine E.IV.4. 

103 Bracelet of beads and teeth, 
female burial, house LX.i. 

104 Necklace of lead and lime- 
stone beads, child burial, shrine 

105 Wooden box with fid, burial, 
shrine VI.A.i. 

106 Large wooden dish, storeroom, 
shrine VLA.61. 

107 Boat-shaped wooden vessel, 
burial, shrine VI. A. 10. 

108 Oval bowl and box with lid, 
burial, shrine VI. 10. 

109 Cream burnished bowl, Level 

110 Twin-lugged cooking pot, 
shrine IV.8. 

in Four-footed jar, house A.III.14. 

112 Spouted stone dish, shrine 

113 Flint dagger in sheath, storeroom, 
house VLB.28. 

114 Two flint daggers, shrine 

115 Male burial with obsidian 
arrow heads and flint knife, 
shrine VI.B.20. 

116 Cloth tapes, burial, shrine 
VI. A. 5. Photo Ian A. Todd. 

117 Plain woollen cloth, burial , s hrine 
VI.A.5. Photo Ian A. Todd. 

118 Cloth with shawl-like weave, 
burial, shrine VI. A. 5. Photo Ian 
A. Todd. 

119 Burial in a basket, shrine 

120 Rush and mat floor covering, 
shrine VI. A. 14. 

121 Baked clay seals. 


All shrine drawings and reconstruc- 
tions are by Grace Huxtable. 

1 Map: Catal Hiiyiik and Early 
Neolithic sites in southern Anato- 
lia and North Syria. Lucinda 
Rodd. pp. 28, 29. 

2 Site-plan of Qatal Hiiyiik, p. 31. 

3 Plan of shifting occupation at 
Catal Hiiyiik, p. 50. 

4 Plan of building-level II, p. 57. 

5 Plan of building-level III, p. 57. 

6 Plan of building-level IV, p. 57. 

7 Plan of building-level V, p. 57. 

8 Plan of building-level VIA, p. 58. 

9 Plan of building-level VLB, p. 59. 

10 Plan of building-level VII, p. 59. 

11 Typical main room at Catal 
Hiiyiik, p. 61. 

12 Schematic reconstruction of Level 
VI, p. 62. 

13 Table of shrine decorations and 
associated features, p. 81. 

14, 15 Reconstructions of Second 
Vulture Shrine, VH21, pp. 82, 83. 

16 Arrangement of decoration in 
main shrines of Levels X-VIA, 
pp. 102, 103. 

17 Reconstruction of shrine X.i., p. 

18 North wall, shrine IX. 8, p. 105. 

19 East wall, shrine VII.9, p. 106. 

20 West wall, shrine VII.9, p. 107. 

21 North and cast walls, shrine 
VH.35, p. 107. 

22 North and east walls, shrine 
VII. 10, p. 108. 

23 West and south walls, shrine 
VII. 1, p. 109. 

24 North and east walls, shrine 
VE.I.p. III. 

25 North and west walls, shrine 
VH.8, as found, p. 112. 

26 North and west walls, shrine 
VII. 8, restored, p. 113. 

27 North and east walls, shrine 
VII.45, p. 115. 

28 West and south-west walls, shrine 

vn.3i,p. n6. 

29 East wall, shrine VII.31, p. 116. 

30 East and south walls, shrine 
VL6i,p. 118. 

31 North and east walls, Leopard 
Shrine VIB.44, p. 119. 

32 West wall, shrine VI. 14, p. 120. 

33 East and south walls, shrine VI. 14, 
p. 121. 

34 North and east walls, shrine 
VI.B.8. early phase, p. 123. 

35 North and east walls, shrine 
VI.B.8. second phase, p. 123. 

36 Painted patterns on bull's head, 
shrine VI.B.8, p. 123. 

37 West wall, shrine VI.B.8, p. 125. 

38 West and north walls, shrine 
VI.B.10, restored, p. 125. 

39 North and east walls, shrine 
VI.B.10, p. 126. 

40 West and north walls, shrine 
VT.A.10, restored, p. 127. 

41 North and east walls, shrine 
VI.A.8, third phase, p. 128. 

42 North and east walls, shrine 
VI.A.8, fourth phase, p. 128. 

43 East wall, shrine VI. A. 7, p. 129. 

44 North and east walls, shrine 
VI.B.I, p. 153. 

45 East end, shrine VI.A.50, p. 155. 

46 Painting, east wall, .shrine VI.B.8, 
p. 163. 

47 North and east walls, Vulture 
Shrine VII.8, p. 169. 

48 Main room, shrine A.III.i, p. 171. 

49 Clay goddess with leopards, 
shrine A.III.i, p. 182. 

50 Painted clay goddess, shrine 
VI.A.61, p. 182. 

51 Painted clay goddess in leopard 
skin dress, shrine E.IV.4, p. 183. 

52 Clay goddess giving birth on 
leopards, shrine A.II.i, p. 184. 

53 Clay seated goddess, shrine A.II.i, 
p. 184. 

54 Ceremonial flint dagger, shrine 
VI.A.29, p. 213. 

55 Wooden vessels, Levels VIA and 
VIB, p. 215. 

56 Baked clay stamp seals, Levels 
VHI, p. 220. 


Alikosh, 18, 19, 221 

amulets, 183, 184, 200 

animal remains, 223; fox, 106; 

weasel, 106 
animal representations, 101; bulls, 

101, no, in, 114, 115, 117, n8, 

121, 122, 129, 130; rams, 101, 121, 

122, 125, 127, 129; leopards, 101, 
112, 118-20; stags, 101, 109, no, 
117, 170, 171, 173; boars, io<5-8, 
114, 126-8; vultures, 101, 108, in, 
126, 166-8; cow, 112 

animal skins, 220; leopard, 79 
Antalya, 17 

anthropology see skeletons 
architecture, S4 ff. 
art mobilier, 17 

balls, clay, 217 

bee, 162 

Beidha, 18, 19, 221 

Belbasi, 18 

Beldibi, 18 

belt hooks, 79, 208 

bonding, 55 

bone industry, 214 

bow, 20 

bread ovens, 63 

breasts, 101, 106, 107, 111, 126, 128 

brick sizes, 55, 56 

bucrania, 65, m, 118 

burial customs, 204 if.; gifts, 208 ff.; 
red ochre, 19, 207; green and 
blue, 208; secondary, 204 ff.; 
infant, 83 

burials, 19, 20, 23, 60 

Byblos, 21, 22 

(patal Hiiyiik, discovery of, 27-9; 

skirt, 31-2; plans, figs. 4-10 
chronology, 49-53 
climate, 222 
copper set metal 
courtyards, 68 

crafts, 210 ff. 

cult, 77-9, 82, 83, 84 ff., 108 
culture diffusion, 17 
cut-out plaster, 105, 109, 114 

defence, 68-9 

disease, 225 

divine family, 182, 201 

domestication of animals, 19, 223 ; 

sheep, 19; goat, dog (?), cat (?), 21; 

cattle, 23 
drainage, 61 

engravings, 17 

Eynan, 19 

Europe, links with, 227 

figurines, 78* 180 
fires tones, 209 
flint, 16, 213 
food, 223, 22S 

geometric patterns, 151 

goddess, painted, 166, 168; relief, 

101, no, in, 113, 114, 115, 116, 
117, 121-2, 124, 125; sculpture, 
180 ff. 

grainbins, 62, 183 

graves, 204 ff. 

greenstone, 16, 214 

Hacilar, 18, 25, 26, 30, 84, no, 180, 

hands, 83, 112, 164, 165 
Hasan Dag, 177 
honeycomb, 162 
horncores, 78, 79 
hunting ritual, 78 

insects, 161 -3 

Jericho, 19, 20, 21 
juniper, 51 

Karim Shahirian, 19 

Kebaran, 18 

kilim patterns, 108, in, 118, 152-5, 

kilns, 63 

lead see metal 
libation niche, 108 
lighting, 6r, 68 

materials, perishable, 210; raw, 212-3 

Mersin, 24, 25, 28, 29 

metal, 22, 79, 209, 212, 217-18 

mirrors, 79, 208, 211 

mortuary, 65, 66 

Nahel Oren, 20 

Natufian, 18—20 

'Neolithic Revolution', 18, 22 r 

nets, 163-4 

oak, 51 

obsidian, 16, 20, 22, 213 ff. 

ochre burials see burials 

pigments, 131, 132 
plant remains, 18, 19, 22, 221, 224 
pottery, 21, 22, 216-17 
Pre-pottery neolithic, 20, 21 
Protoneolithic, 18, 19 

races, Eurafrican, 19; Proto-Mediter- 
ranean, 20, 225; brachycephalic, 

Ras Shamra, 21, 22 

reliefs, plaster, 84 ff., 1 17 ff. 

roofs, 56 

rosettes, in 

sacrifice, 77-8 

sanitation, 61 

sculpture, 178 ff.; materials, 178; 

naturalistic, clay, 181; deities with 

animals, 18 1-2 


QMd Huyiik 

seals, clay, 79, 209, 220 
sex, 201, 202 
Shauidar, 18, 19 
shrines; Jericho, 19 
Qatal Huyiik: 

X.i, 104, fig. 17 

DC.8, 105, fig. 18 

VHI.8, 166 

VII.9, 105-6, figs. 19, 20 

VTI.35, 106, fig. 21 

VII.21, 106-6, 113, 167, figs. 14, 

VII.IO, I08-IO, fig. 22 

VII.i, iio-ii, figs. 23, 24 
VH.8, in, 167, figs. 25, 26, 47 
VII.23, 113 ff. 
VII.29, 114 
VII.45, 114, fig. 27 

VII.31, 114-17. figs. 28, 29 

VI.B.12, 117 

VI.B.15, 117 

VIB.20, 117 

VI.B.5, 117 

VI.B.r, H7, 153, fig. 44 

VI.B.7, 117 

VLB and A, 6"l, 117-18, fig. 30 
VLB and A, 44, 118-20, fig. 31 
VLB and A, 14, 121, figs. 32, 

VI.B.8, 122-4, figs. 34-7 
"VT.B.10, 124-6, figs. 38, 39 
VI. A. 10, 127-8, fig. 40 
VI.A.8, 127-9, fig- 41-2 
VI.A.7, 129, fig. 43 
VI.A.50, 154* fig- 45 
E.IV.I. 168 

A.rv.1, 170 
A.m.8, 154-5, 170 
A.m. 1, 170-6, fig. 48 
A.11.1, 176 

skeletons, 225 
skulls, 65-6, 84, 108 
society, 60, 80-2, 205-7, 225-6 
stalactites, 178, 200 
statuettes see sculpture 
stone industry, 213-14 
symbols, 132, 155, 161 fE 

Tell Ramad, 21, 22 

temple offerings, 78 

terraces, 69 

textiles, 150, 219, 220 

timber frames, 63-5 

tools, 209 

town plan, 67 fF. 

trade, 16, 20, 22, 210 ff. 

Upper Palaeolithic links, 23, 24, 226 

volcanoes, 176, 177 

wall-painting, 65, 84, 121, 131 ff. 

wall-plaster, 33, 34, 56 

weapons, 209 

weaving, mats, baskets, 218-19; 

cloth, 219-20 
woodwork, 215-16 

Zarzian, 18 
Zawi Chemi, 18 


James Mellaart 



Shortly after World War II, archaeology entered into 
a dramatic new phase. The discovery of radio-carbon 
(C-14) as an instrument for establishing the chrono- 
logy of organic materials as far back as 50,000 years 
before the advent of writing opened up vast horizons 
in the study of human achievement. About "this 
ingenious by-product of nuclear research" Sir Mor- 
timer Wheeler writes that "it is now possible to inter- 
relate cultures and civilizations intelligently with one 
another and with the present; ages unknown to 
history or to viable legend, and inadequately related 
by stratigraphy alone, took on a new meaning. 
Archaeology had indeed entered upon a fresh and 
revealing phase. "Here for the first time are the com- 
plete, definitive accounts of the extraordinarily rich 
archaeological discoveries of our era. Each volume 
in this series is written by the archaeological authority 
best equipped to write it and illustrated with over 
150 splendid drawings and photographs. 

Other volumes published or in preparation 

PETRA by Peter Parr 
IFE by Frank Willett see back of jacket 
JERUSALEM by Kathleen Kenyon 

McGraw-Hill Book Company 

330 West 4zd Street, New York N.Y. 10036 

Printed in Holland 

Another volume in The NEW ASPECTS OF ARCHAEOLOGY series 

JL1.C in the History 
of West African Sculpture 



In 1938 an extraordinary group of bronze or brass sculptures of life- 
size heads was found at Ifein Western Nigeria. The heads were in them- 
selves a remarkable achievement and even more amazing was the 
advanced technology of their casting. Furthermore these sculptures 
were quite unlike any other African work of art ; they were natural- 
istic - even European - in appearance. They had not been imported, 
yet their close similarity to European styles of sculpture left historians 
and archaeologists asking how they could have been made by Africans. 
Later, the metalwork was supplemented by finds of terracottas, and 
today it is possible to recognize a whole distinctive school of art. 
Nearly all of the art of Ife is still in the region where it was made, 
either in the new museum or in situ in the old, still-used shrines and 
groves. The author describes and illustrates a large proportion of these 
works, whether in metal, terracotta or stone, many of which he him- 
self discovered. Nearly all of the photographs were taken specially for 
this book, and most of the pieces have not been illustrated in published 
works before. In discussing their purpose, date and origins, Professor 
Willett draws not only on the evidence of the actual works of art but 
also on that provided by archaeology and oral tradition. He traces 
their formal roots back to the two-thousand-vear-old art of Nok in 


Northern Nigeria, and their sequel is followed into the art of Benin, 
Tada and Jebba, and compared with modern Yoruba sculpture. This 
book, which places the art of Ife in its cultural and chronological 
sequence, constitutes the most complete and authoritative record 
available of one of the most important phases of African art-history.